This film is part of Free

Plymouth's Dingles Department Store

Beau Dingles

News 1976 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The Director of the Department Store explains the history of Dingles following refurbishment in the 1970s and the installation of escalators. The building is clad in Portland Stone a well-known in Plymouth. In 1935 Edward Dingle and Co Ltd purchased the former premises of W J Vickery and Co Ltd of Bedford Street and Cornwall Street in Plymouth. By 1939 the store had eighty departments and over 500 employees.

During WWII Dingles continued trading. The nearby store of Yeo's caught fire due to incendiaries during a raid, and the fire spread to Dingles, causing the company to trade from nearby homes. Dingles was in Patrick Abercombie and J. Paton Watson’s plan for the rebuilding of Plymouth in the 1940s and 1950s. The new Dingles building was the first to be opened in the UK since 1938 and it opened on 1 September 1951 with 35,000 sq feet of sales space over four floors. In December 1988 a fire devastated the Plymouth store destroying the top levels with a £13 million estimated repair cost. The store is now a branch of House of Fraser (since 1988) but still affectionately known as Dingles in Plymouth to this day.