This film is part of Free

A Day in the Life of the January Sales

A look at the furore caused by the first day of the January sales in Dingles Department Store.

Documentary 1984 26 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Dingles Department Store in Plymouth and the sales are just about to begin. Jan Lambshead talks about the planning behind a sale and the store’s general manager Dennis Bryans takes us on a tour. Open for the first time since Christmas Eve Mr Bryans joins up with the merchandise manager Mike George to assess selling on this day in the life of the January sales. International swimmer Sharron Davies and partner Olympic and World Judo star Neil Adams are interviewed in the queue.

E Dingle and Co was registered in 1935 after Edward Dingle had expanded his original drapery store which he opened in 1880. By the Second World War the store had 80 departments employing over 500 staff. Destroyed by fire during the Plymouth Blitz, the shop reopened ten years on in 1951 and became part of the House of Fraser Group in 1971. In 1988 another fire ravaged the store and it was again rebuilt. The architect was Thomas Tait and the building stands as one of the first department stores to be rebuilt in postwar Britain. After the Plymouth blitz many traders set up in Tin Pan Alley forming a market area. The beautiful Portland Stone building remains a centrepiece of central Plymouth.