Dolbys shop/photo added

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Thread Topic: Dolbys shop/photo added
Topic Originator: Audrey
Post Date August 25, 2005 @ 5:14 AM
 Dolbys shop/photo added
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
 RE: Dolbys shop High Street
  Dolbys shop & Printers
  Dolbys shop/photo
  Dolbys shop/SS Athenia
 Dolbys shop/apartment
 Dolbys shop/photo added
 Dolbys/Truss family
  Dolbys shop/photo added
  Dolbys shop/photo added
 Dolbys shop/photo added
  Dolbys shop/photo added
 RE: Dolbys shop/photo added
 Dolbys shop/photo added
 RE: Dolbys shop/photo added
  Dolbys shop/photo added
 Dolbys shop/photo added
 : Dolbys shop/photo added

August 25, 2005 @ 5:14 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dolby's Shop circa 1896
Photo taken around 1896
by kind permission of Stamford Mercury
Double click on photo to go to larger image. then   Click on "All Sizes" to go to full screen image.  Click on photostream to see all stamfordtown's photos.  Click back button on your computer to return to this page

I liked Dolbys shop in High Street (where Boots shop is now).  You went in the downstairs area and that was stationery, expensive pens etc. etc.  The pens were in a glass case and if you wanted to see one, say a Parker, you had to ask to see it and it was placed on a velvet cloth on the top of the case for you to look at.  That area was on the left hand side of the shop.  
The best part of the shop was upstairs.  It had a toy shop and nicknacks on one side where you could buy clockwork toys, transfers, etc and the other side of the shop was a long narrow area with a rickety floor where they sold books.  We used to go and look round the shop on our way home from school each day.  I picked out a wonderful book The Children's Golden Treasury - it had a blue leather binding with the words picked out in gold.  I looked at it loads of times and asked for it for my main Christmas present.  I once also had a clockwork toy, a motorcyclist on a a motorcycle.
Dolbys was owned by Mr John Dolby.  He was a very neat man in a dark suit with dark well groomed hair.

James Kudlinski
November 2, 2005 @ 12:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember the toy area in particular. It was a real Alladin's cave and the place to buy lego at 2/6d  for a small box. I still have a tinplate toy (in its box too!)  purchased from Dolbys. It was with sadness that I watched the front of the building being demolished one Thursday on my way home from school some time in 1967/68.
Ed:  Good that you kept that tinplate toy.  Dolbys must have been a wonderworld for loads of Stamford children.

October 29, 2007 @ 9:05 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember Dolbys very well !!! My father was works manager of the printing side of the business which was situated behind the shop up until it moved to West Street in about 1959. In the 1968 Easter holiday I helped clear the last items from the shop to a small retail stationery shop which was opened at the front of the West Street works. John Dolby was a magistrate and the only brother of the three surviving who went into the family business. He sold the business in about 1979 and lived well into his 80s. My father retired in 1981 and died in 2005.
Kate:  Thanks Roger.  I remember John Dolby was on the Council.  His full name was John Dainty Dolby.  I suppose the Dainty was a family name - I always remembered it as it was an unusual middle name.

Andrew Matthews
January 2, 2008 @ 1:09 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

It was interesting to read James Kudlinski's memories of seeing the front of Dolby's shop being demolished in 1968. I would have been 4 years old at the time and can remember being in the High Street with my father and seeing the front of the shop all broken down. I remember my father telling me there had been a fire at the shop and that was why it looked in ruins. However, whether that is actually what had happened I don't know. I know I am not confusing this with the big Woodhouses fire as that was in Dec 1964 and I was too young to remember that. Can anyone confirm if a fire at the shop actually led to its final closure?

January 10, 2008 @ 7:35 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Whilst they were demolishing Dolbys, the contractors lit a small bonfire to burn some of the rubbish. unfortunately it got out of hand and the fire brigade were called and put the fire out in a matter of minutes.

At the time I was working at Lloyds Bank next door. Being lunchtime some of the staff on hearing the fire engine went outside to see what was happening. It was hilarious to read in the "Mercury" that "Lloyds Bank staff had to be evacuated"!

January 11, 2008 @ 6:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Andrew, I should have added that Dolbys was not demolished because of fire - the shop closed because of falling sales and the expense of maintaining a large half empty buiding as the printing works side of the business (at the rear) had relocated about 9 years earlier. Also by the late 1960s the inside of the shop was looking very dated, gloomy and unappealing and would have cost a lot to refurbish.

I may be wrong but I think Dolbys were thinking of closing the shop when Boots approached them as  they were looking for a site for a new shop.

There definitely was a fire at Woodhouses but I can't remember the year.

Andrew Matthews
January 11, 2008 @ 11:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thank you Roger for finally getting to the bottom of the Dolby's fire story I remember my father telling me about. Maybe he had read in the Stamford Mercury about the bonfire getting out of hand when the front of the shop was demolished and that's where the story came from. I was only 4 years old at the time so probably I misunderstood what he was telling me. But I can clearly see that image in my mind of the shop front looking all smashed down whilst standing on the opposite side of the road with my father and looking across.

May 10, 2010 @ 1:48 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

betty May 6, 2010 @ 7:23 PM Edit  |  Delete
(In reply on another topic)

Hi Terry

No I worked at Dolby's the Printers in the Office and I seem to think you used to come there to see Mr. Dolby.

I am sure you will know that Peter Hamitt did become a Doctor.

Roger Partridge May 8, 2010 @ 11:37 PM Edit  |  Delete

Hi Betty, you must have known my father, Frank Partridge

betty May 9, 2010 @ 9:46 PM Edit  |  Delete

I worked with your father, I did wonder when I saw your name on the Forum whether you were his son, its a small world.  I worked with Dorothy Baker (Graham) and Ann Britten (Gibson) Ann Wallace (Chiverton) Albert Barlow and his brother at Dolby's 1959-1961

Roger Partridge
May 12, 2010 @ 6:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Betty

I remember Albert Barlow, and am fairly certain dad mentioned an Ann working there, but don't remember which one

April 8, 2012 @ 1:42 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Do you know if there was an apartment above the shop on the High Street?  My grandmother and her parents listed staying at Dolby Bros Stamford on the passenger list on the SS Athenia in 1939.  My grandmother lived but her parents died.  My grandmother is now deceased and we are trying to figure out who they were visiting.  Their last name was Truss and her mother's was Cockett.
Kate: Hello Sarah.  I was intrigued by your posting and looked up details of the sinking of  the SS Athenia.  Googling I found an article published in The Times
10 October 1939.  On the list they have Harry TRUSS 54 British, Fleet, Holbeach, and Ethel TRUSS housewife of the same address.  You can add some more detail here if you would like to.
Anyone out there know of the Dolbys connection?  If anyone has access to a Dolbys almanak  they may be able to confirm the residence.
The Athenia was on its way to Canada when it was torpedoed twice by a German ship.

Times article

Roger Partridge
April 9, 2012 @ 5:20 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I don't think there was an apartment above Dolby's after WW2, even if there was one before. My father who worked in the High St Premises from 1947 until the printing works moved in about 1960 never spoke about any living accommodation over the shop.

It is possible there was an apartment at some time but certainly when the shop closed in 1968, the top floor was only used for storage.

April 10, 2012 @ 2:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Harry and Maria Truss might not have actually stayed at Dolby's but they gave the store as their contact address.  Ethel is a mistake on the Anthenia passenger list - she was Maria formerly Cockett of Bardney.  Harry Truss was from Fleet Holbeach.  Does anyone know who owned Dolby Bros. in 1939?  The Truss' had emigrated to Canada but were visiting family in Lincolnshire in the summer of 1939 and left on the Athenia because of the imminent war which proved to be a very sad choice.  Obviously there was a connection between Dolby and the Truss/Cockett families and we are trying to determine who it was.  Any help would be most appreciated.
Harry & Maria's were my husband's grandparents - Sarah's g. grandparents.

April 11, 2012 @ 1:10 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thanks Kate & Roger for the reply.  We were aware that they were visiting relatives in Fleet but we recently found the passenger list for the Athenia that left on September 2nd 1939 from Liverpool.  It lists their last address as Dolby Bros High Street, Stamford.  We have no idea why this address was listed or the connection.  My grandmother never mentioned it. My great-grandmother' s name was Maria Truss not Ethel, it was incorrectly listed on the passenger list.  If there wasn't an apartment then they must have listed that address because they were staying with someone connected to Dolby Bros. We will have to keep searching.

Roger Partridge
April 11, 2012 @ 8:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Susan - Dolbys was always owned by members of the Dolby family from its start in the 1850s until about 1979.

April 12, 2012 @ 2:28 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thanks Roger.  We believe that John Truss, Harry's brother may have worked for Dolby's.  Is there any listing of employees in the '30s -40's at Dolby's?  John lived in Stamford as did his son Clifford Truss.  Is there any info. on John Truss in Stamford during this period?   We appreciate all your help - thank you.
Kate: Hi Susan found the following recording  the death of Clifford Truss on Stamford School's website
"John Truss (1966-73) has written to say that his father Clifford J Truss (1933-38) died on 19 July 2010. At Stamford he played rugby for the school. He had been active until last Christmas when he had spells in Lincoln and Boston Hospitals before moving to a nursing home in Sutton on Sea. He died a week before his 90th birthday. He spent most of his working life in and around Stamford with Barclays Bank before retiring in 1979. We extend our sympathies to John and his family."
I realise this is not the John you are wanting to know about, but thought you
might like the info. if you don't already have it.

Roger Partridge
April 12, 2012 @ 7:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Sorry, but I don't know of any records of former Dolby's employees. As you may be aware the company didn't prosper when it was sold out of the family. It downsized, moving to rather small premises in Gooch's Court by 1984 and then (I understand) to Huntingdon. But I could find no trace when I searched telephone directory over 10 years ago.

I would doubt that if any old records existed they would have survived the move even to Gooch's Court. The only hope would be if any existed they may have been passed to the Lincolnshire County Archive.

Tom Digby
May 22, 2012 @ 3:59 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Can anyone tell me if Mr John Dolby used to referee local football matches?


Roger Partridge
May 23, 2012 @ 5:43 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My father was very keen on football, so I'm sure he would have said if John Dolby was a ref, as he would have probably gone to watch the matches. However he may have been a ref before my father joined Dolbys.

May 24, 2012 @ 8:06 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I think the John Dolby you are looking for is the person who played for St Johns Ambulance not Mr Dolby of Dolby Brothers, I will check it out with my source later and let you know more then.

May 24, 2012 @ 6:28 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Betty,I believe I met your Brother at the Invader on Tuesday night,after young Boon had introduced us we went on to talk about lots of the people I knew 50 years ago and as I don't go to Stamford at all now it was very interesting to hear how peoples lives have panned out.It was a very interesting hour or so,things like people I played in darts teams etc.A very interesting chap to talk to!!!!

October 15, 2013 @ 9:39 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My great grandpa was John dolby if anybody has any pictures or information I would be very grateful x
Kate:  Hello Serena.  I wonder if you have a photo of John Dolby I could add to this thread?  Perhaps in his middle years would be the best?  If so, you could email it to me at
Thanks if you find one.  Anyone else have info on Dolbys?

October 21, 2013 @ 10:13 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Serena,
I worked for you Great Grand-father in 1959-60 and I thought you might be interested to know there are quite a few people out their still around who also worked at Dolby's Printing Works.  There is Dorothy Baker, Ann Britten, Albert Barlow, Ann Chiverton   to name but a few.
I guess your Grand-mother must be Pauline Dolby.??
The one person who might be able to help you with photographs is Mr. Partridge's son as his Dad worked in the Offices and he was Mr. Dolby's right hand man.
Hope this helps

maureen mcCarthy
July 12, 2015 @ 4:50 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I worked at Dolbys in 1962/3  and remember John Dolby,
he was a truly lovely man and a real gentleman I was only 15 and remember him being so kind to me,
he was very tall, and always wore a suit and spoke very quietly,

I worked as an office junior in the shop upstairs, and would use the intercom to the printing works,

I typed the little brown wage packets and remember
the people  working there
in the shop and printing works,
and I think it was mrs Pauline Dolby that was my boss.

I still have a over night case I bought from Dolby's  upstairs were they sold a large selection, and many other things

I wanted to know who bought the printing business after dolbys sold it
does any one know ?

July 14, 2015 @ 8:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

If John Dolby, the printer was very tall as Maureen described, he certainly wasn't the John Dolby I knew, who was a local referee.
Upstairs at Dolbys was like an Aladdins cave to us young'uns at the time.

Roger Partridge
July 14, 2015 @ 10:39 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Maureen,

My father was Frank Partridge who was manager of the printing works.  The printing side had moved to West Street by 1960, possibly even 1958/9 as the map in the 1960/61 Stamford Guide shows Dolby's printing works in West Street.

It was probably Mrs Vera Dolby (David Dolby's widow) you are thinking of. she dealt with a lot of admin work. Pauline was John Dolby's daughter.

The business was bought by a consortium including David Friend and Alan Dunn, following John Dolby's retirement.

Roger Partridge
July 20, 2015 @ 9:32 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Syd, John Dolby, the referee was not the same person as John Dolby of Dolby Brothers. I don't remember JD of Dolby Brothers as being particularly tall.