Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Our Golden Tower

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Our Golden Tower

Article excerpt

WHILE looking through the archive editions of the Evening Gazette gathering news stories from 50 years ago we came across an interesting advertising feature.

It was celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Tower House Store of Wright and Co Ltd, known to nearly everyone as Wright's Tower House.

Finding the article may have been accidental but we decided to investigate the story of this one time famous department store.

The founding of the business, which was to become Wright's Tower House is almost the stuff of legend.

Two Scottish packmen, Lawrence Wright and Richard Archibald set off hoping to make their fortunes in London in around 1860.

However, Lawrence and Richard found London more of a challenge than expected so they left for home.

On their way back they travelled through a new town called Middlesbrough and it had a busy market in full swing.

The two Scots traders soon found plenty of willing customers and they set up a regular stall in the town.

The business was so good that before long in 1862 they opened a shop in Sussex Street, it was then that Wright's Tower House came into being.

In 1895 Richard Archibald retired from the business but with Lawrence Wright still in charge it would remain a family business.

In 1910 the company opened the store which most people will remember, situated on the corner of Linthorpe Road and Grange Road, a building which seems synonymous with the name, Wright's Tower House.

The store went from strength to strength and became not only a popular store but also a well-known local landmark.

The store always had its eye on retailing trends.

In 1956 the shop went through a major refurbishment especially of is display windows at street level.

The original wooden framed windows were taken out and replaced by new bronze frames with hidden fluorescent tubes to illuminate the goods on display.

Inside the building, walls were knocked down creating larger open spaced rooms giving a lighter airy shopping environment.

This was considered revolutionary retailing in 1956. …

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