Are You Being Served?

Posted: 23rd February 2021

Humber Museums Partnership - Are You Being Served?

Large department stores used to be a common sight on our local high street, but with the rise of on-line shopping, these grand buildings are becoming a thing of the past.

The days of wandering through a large store filled with products ranging from cooking pans to necklaces will soon be a forgotten experience for most. Edwin Davis, Hammonds and later House of Fraser were some of the names familiar to Hull residents when shopping in the city centre.

Edwin Davis

Edwin Davis was a department store based on Market Place, Hull and was established around 1840 and operated until 1978. It was known for the good quality products that it sold and they was so successful that the store expanded into the adjacent shops next door.
Edwin Davis on Market Place located on the left-hand side
The store was completely destroyed during the First World War by the Zeppelin raids on Hull in 1915. Around 1920, Edwin Davis would re-locate its store to Bond Street.

The photograph on the left shows Edwin Davis in its new location on Bond Street before the Second World War.

During the Second World War, Edwin Davis again suffered bomb damage but continued to trade. In 1952 the store moved slightly further up the street where it remained until it finally closed in 1978.

Edwin Davis was one of the few department stores to issue tokens with a denomination and the façade of their shop in Bond Street is shown on the reverse. The exact date of these tokens is unknown but it was probably during the 1960s-1978.

Can you help us date this token? How was it used in the Edwin Davis Store and what are your experiences of using this token? What did you buy with this? Were only 5 new pence issued?

Any knowledge would be gratefully received as first-hand accounts of how tokens were used are extremely rare. It would be wonderful if we could record how they were used for future generations.

Please contact us at with the heading ‘Edwin Davis Token’ our administration team can direct the email to the curatorial team.

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to know what you thought about our From the Stores blogs. Your responses will help inform our decision-making around programming of future works, both digital and in-person. Please help by completing our short survey Click here to Complete Survey