Our History

Oldrids

Our Heritage | Read The Story So Far

Our stores have a lot of history - in fact we’re over 200 years in the making! Our stores began in the Lincolnshire town of Boston, in 1804, when John Oldrid and Richard Hyde purchased a small retail unit. We’ve grown enormously since then and now have stores throughout the Lincolnshire area, including a garden centre. You can find out more about our heritage below.

John Oldrids 3rd


John Oldrid III
1879

Charity Work


Oldrids Receipts
1906

Oldrids Carpet Store


Oldrids Carpet Shop
1920

We are a family business running for over 200 years!

Click on each date below to find out more information

1804
Oldrids is created by Mr. John Oldrid

1905
Oldrids is put up for sale
1804 - 1905
Oldrids was born in 1804, when Mr. John Oldrid and Mr. Richard Hyde, formed a small retail store which served as a draper, mercer, hosier, haberdasher and funeral directors. They were highly successful.

In 1831 John Oldrid took over the running of the business. It was then passed down to his grandson John Oldrid III who ran it up until his death in 1901. His wife Martha then took over from him until her death in 1905. The business was then put up for sale as there were no male heirs to inherit it.

Hyde sells his share


Richard Hyde sells his share
1831


Boston Market


Boston Market
1852


John Oldrid 1st


John Oldrid I
1869

John Oldrid 3rd


John Oldrid III
1879

Original storefront


Original store front
Circa 1905

Oldrids is put up for sale


Oldrids is put up for sale
1905

1906
Mr. Sydney Smith takes over the running of Oldrids

1915
Oldrids is put up for sale again
1906 - 1915
Mr Sydney Smith purchased Oldrid & Co. from the Oldrid family in 1906. It cost him considerably less than the asking price - around 60% - at £7125 for the business, shops and name and a further £130 for the fittings and fixtures. The asking price was £12,000 for the business and £250 for the fixtures. Various members of staff disagreed with Sydney’s management style and left the business, with some going on to found their own.

It is rumoured that when trade was quiet Mr. Smith would add small amounts to his customers' accounts! Not surprisingly, they would often query these and refuse to pay them.

In 1908 he held a summer sale to condense stock. A large part of the shop was then sublet out, so the store returned to its original size upon opening.

In 1915 Sydney placed the business up for sale. It's believed he lost all his money on the stock market.

Old Receipt


Oldrids Receipts
1906


1908 Sale Advert


Sale Adverts
1908


Great Value Advert


Great Value Adverts
1908

1915
The Isaac family take over Oldrids

1918
Oldrids purchase additional Boston shops including Pescod Hall
1915 - 1920
Mr Robert Isaac purchased Oldrids from Sydney Smith in 1915. His first action as owner was to hold a ‘Great Transfer Sale’ selling off all the old warehouse stock. This allowed him to quickly earn cash and create space to put new stock.

Oldrids continued to offer an undertaking service, also being able to offer mourning clothes. However this service was dropped after arranging a child‘s funeral upset Robert so much he felt they could no longer offer the service.

By 1918 the company had saved enough money to be able to buy some of the surrounding businesses. Robert proceeded to purchase numbers 11, 13, 15 and 17 Strait Bargate. Work began to knock the internal walls through to create 1 huge shopping area.

Robert Isaac


Robert Isaac and Sons
Circa 1902


Updated Receipt Style


Updated Receipt Style
1915


Pescod Hall


Pescod Hall
1920

1920
Oldrids continues to expand - Now selling carpets
1920 - 1930
The work to open up the seperate shops into 1 larger shopping space took longer than expected. Robert had signed a contract for day-work rather than an overall price, so the builders dragged the work out for as long as possible.

In order to escape from the stresses of the business Robert took up golf. He bought a farm in 1923 to convert the land into a 9 hole golf course.

By the time the building work was completed Robert could not afford to fill the larger shop space with stock! After deciding to stock flooring, Robert cleverly positioned the 6ft rolls so as to hide the larger empty spaces within the shop.

In 1929, 2 rather unusual incidents took place. Whilst the windows were being dressed, a shopper walked into the window space, then continued on walking through the window itself! Later, during the market a cow broke free and made its way into the shop. It then proceeded to walk up to the counter, then calmly leave the store without disturbing anything.

Blanket Label


Blanket Label
Circa 1920


Oldrids Carpet store


Oldrids Carpet Shop
1920


Cow goes shopping


Cow walks into store
1929

1960
Oldrids New Street opens selling furniture
1930 - 1960
World War II had a negative effect on the business as a whole. People had less money to spend, and there were less resources available to sell. Paper bags became rarer and Oldrids asked customers to reuse them to save resources.

After the war, resources were still limited. As a result of this, Oldrids had to be cleverer with their advertising and services, beginning to offer repair services rather than replacements. The press advert below shows a re-upholstery service being offered.

By 1960 the economy had recovered and Oldrids opened a new store in New Street where furniture was sold for the first time. This went on to be very successful.

Paper Bag


Paper Bag
Circa 1940


Re-upholstery advert


Re-Upholstery Press Advert
1948


Oldrids New Street


Oldrids New Street
Circa 1960

1969
Oldrids Boston is demolished

1960 - 1970
The 1960s were an exciting time for Oldrids. The Isaac family purchased additional property including 3 Strait Bargate. This was refurbished in 1968, from a patent still into a pram and toy shop.

In 1968 Oldrids purchased additional land behind the Boston stores. By 1969, the demolition of various properties to extend and create 1 large store had begun.

Prams newspaper advert


Prams Press Advert
1965


Boston Demolition


Boston Demolitions Begin
1969


Demolition Cleanup


Demolition Clean-up
1970

1970
Oldrids Boston is rebuilt

1974
Pescod Hall is rebuilt

1970 - 1975
With the demolition work now mostly completed, reconstruction work began. Temporary windows were put in place during construction work in 1970. By 1971 the new Oldrids Boston store frontage was completed, increasing the sales area from 9000 square foot and 35,000 over 2 floors! This allowed for the addition of a restaurant on the first floor.

In 1972 Pescod hall was demolished and later rebuilt. By 1974 it was completed, then later named a listed building.

In 1974 we introduced our new logo and new look - the ever-adaptable otter.

Oldrids Temporary Windows


Oldrids Boston's Temporary Windows
1970


Oldrids Boston Rebuild


The Rebuilt Oldrids Boston Store
1971


Pescod Hall


Pescod Hall - Prior to Demolition
1972


Pescod Hall Clean-up


The Pescod Hall Rebuild Re-Used the Original Bricks
1973


The New Pescod Hall


Pescod Hall
Rebuilt

1974


Oldrids Otter Logo


Oldrids New Logo
The Otter

1974

1975
Oldrids Boston is rebuilt again
1975 - 1980
In 1975, further redevelopment of the Boston store was undertaken, adding another additional floor to the store. This created a much larger restaurant space with a veranda for outdoor dining. It also allowed for the introduction of a hairdressing salon. Air conditioning was also fitted throughout the store.

Oldrids Boston Rebuild 2


Oldrids Boston Store with Additional Floor
1975


New Restaurant Press Advert


Oldrids Boston Restaurant Advert
1975


Pescod Hall


Oldrids Boston & Pescod Hall Press Adverts
1975

1981
Downtown Boston is built

1985
Downtown Boston is refurbished

1980 - 1985
The early 1980’s saw the introduction of a new Oldrids branding. We also opened a new Downtown Boston store in 1981, which trialled selling cars.

By 1985 cars were no longer sold at Downtown Boston due to a falling market and recession. It was then enlarged and refurbished to focus on furniture sales.

Additionally in 1985, the site for the future Downtown Grantham was bought.

Downtown Boston


The New Downtown
Boston Store

1981


Downtown Motors Press Advert


Downtown Motors Press Adverts
1981


Downtown Motors


Downtown Motors & Car Sales Team
1981


Oldrids Restaurant - Glazed in


Oldrids Boston Restaurant Balcony is Glazed
1985


The New Oldrids Branding


The New Updated Oldrids Branding
1985


Downtown Boston Revamp


Downtown Boston is Refurbished
1985

1989
Downtown Grantham is opened

1985 - 1990
Work began on the Downtown Grantham site in 1987. The work took around 2 years to complete, with the new Downtown Grantham store opening to the public in 1989.

Downtown Grantham


Downtown Grantham
1989


Downtown Grantham Interior


Downtown Grantham Interior
1989


Downtown Grantham Press Adverts


Downtown Grantham Advert
1989

1998
Downtown Grantham is enlarged

1990 - 2000
Following the success of Downtown Grantham we were able to invite Boundary Mill stores to have a section of our store in 1996. The site was later enlarged again to include a second storey in 1998.

Oldrids Boston store was also updated, with the removal of the restaurant terrace, and addition of bay windows and roofed restaurant space.

In 1999 additional work began on the Grantham site, to create a Downtown Garden Centre on the unused land.

Downtown Grantham


Downtown Grantham Enlargement
1998


Oldrids Boston Bay Windows


Oldrids Boston New Restaurant Windows
1998


Downtown Grantham Press Adverts


Downtown Grantham Enlargement Press Advert
2000

2000
Downtown Garden Centre Grantham opens

2003
Pescod Hall moves

2004
Oldrids Celebrates its 200th Birthday

2000 - 2005
By 2000 work on the Downtown Garden Centre was completed and it opened to the public. The store was opened by gardening star Charlie Dimmock, who welcomed customers and staff alike to the site.

In 2003 Boston town centre had changes made, including the proposed multi-storey car park and Pescod Square shopping centre. In order to build these Pescod Hall would have to be moved! In 2003, after much preparation, the building was hoisted up to a height of 4ft. and transported and rotated before it was placed down in it’s new location.

2004 saw the 200th birthday of Oldrids. This was celebrated with promotions throughout the year along with plenty of cake.

Downtown Garden Centre


Downtown Garden Centre Grantham
2000


Charlie Dimmock opens Downtown Garden Centre


Charlie Dimmock Opens our Garden Centre
2000


Downtown Garden Centre Press


Downtown Garden Centre Press Adverts
2000


Pescod Hall


Pescod Hall
1985


Pescod Hall Moves


Pescod Hall is Moved
2003


Oldrids Birthday


Oldrids is 200 years old
2004

2009
Oldrids transactional website is launched

2005 - 2010
Oldrids transactional website was launched in 2009, showcasing a range of our product choice. Sales have grown year on year since then with an ever-expanding range available.
2012
Downtown Grantham is refurbished again

2013
Downtown Lincoln & Oldrids Gainsborough are opened
2010 - 2015
In 2012 Downtown Grantham superstore was extensively refurbished again, with a full interior refit. New cladding was applied later applied in 2013 to bring the outside up to the same standard as the interior.

In 2013 Oldrids launched ambitious campaigns to expand into further stores; opening both Downtown Lincoln and Oldrids Gainsborough. In late 2013 Downtown Lincoln received an extensive refurbishment.

Downtown Grantham Re-Clad


Downtown Grantham
2012


Downtown Lincoln


Downtown Lincoln
2013


Oldrids Gainsborough


Oldrids Gainsborough
2013