1919 Tarvers

This advert appeared on the cover of the very first issue of the Grammar School Cygnet magazine in Spring 1919.

Aside from offering the ‘utmost possible value’, which I’m sure it was, there are unfortunately no prices. It is also interesting to note the Telephone number as simply Burton 735. In later adverts, telephone numbers are changed to 4 digits, still not quite seeing the need for more than 9999 telephone numbers just to service Burton!

Just to prove that it was not simply Tarver’s fantasy that boys should be attired as shown, this Burton Grammar School picture from around the same era proves that pupils really DID go to school dressed as ‘Little Boy Fauntleroy’!



1939 Tarvers Advert

For some years, Tarvers ran a series of adverts on the cover of the Burton Grammar School Cygnet magazine.

Tarvers were the slightly cheaper alternative to Ellis & Son. The difference in quality however, was discernible, in particular, the school cap with the Tarvers offering having a broader band and sitting awkwardly on the head. Many pupils persuaded parents to buy an Ellis & Son cap – the forerunner to designer labels!?




1945 Ellis & Son



1945 Tarvers



1945 Raleigh Bicycles



1945 Jacksons



1954 Howarths Advert

In 1954, William Howarth’s in High Street was often the first port of call for new school shoes; and I must admit, I can see why – at 49/9d (£2.49), for a pair of X-Ray checked stout brogues, I could even be tempted myself.




1954 Ellis & Son Advert

This Ellis & Son advert appeared in numerous school Cygnet magazines as suppliers for the Burton Grammar School uniform as well as sports wear which included, in my case anyway, a white sports shirt together with one in the nominated house colour (Wellington – Maroon, Drake – Blue, Clive – Green, Nelson – Black).

The advert is restored but not in any way improved, remaining as true to the original advert as possible. It appeared in the Cygnet for many years but reduced in quality slightly each year before it was finally revised.


The advert reminds of the grandier of a Burton building which is now very much taken for granted. Ellis & Son Menswear enjoyed some prominence in Burton for over 100 years. It is slightly amusing that in 1954, four digits was though more than adequate to accommodate any likely future demand for telephone numbers.


It is nice that the building survives to this day and is still one of the Town’s most elegant buildings. It is a shame that the equally impressive buildings across the road had to give way to what is now the entrance to the modern day shopping precinct.

These two pictures show the shop in the heyday years of both the Bond Street and Winshill Grammar Schools when the summer months would have done very brisk business kitting out pupils for the start of a new year.


Website by Kevin Gallagher