This film is part of Free

Opening of Tower House

Precious pre-war film of Lewisham town centre, shot on the opening day of Tower House, the huge Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society store, in 1933.

Amateur film 1933 6 mins

Overview

Crowds of local residents gather outside the new Co-op department store in Lewisham's town centre for its official opening, carried out by W.B. Neville, General Secretary of the RACS. In its heyday, Tower House was considered the largest Co-operative store in the south of England, boasting more than 70 different departments, including a travel agency and an ornate hairdressing salon.

When nearby buildings were ravaged by a German doodlebug bomb in 1944, Tower House survived the devastation. After the dissolution of the RACS in the 1980s, the building was split up to accommodate various separate commercial concerns.