Chosen by Lauren Clifton, member of staff
George Hilton & Sons was a business in Haywards Heath for over a century, starting as an upholstery, cabinet makers and house furnishers in 1882, the family company developed to include removals and warehousing, an undertakers, and became Hiltons Department Store 100 years later in 1982.
From the opening of the first shop by George Hilton to the company’s eventual closure in 1988, this scrapbook/album collects together photographs, newspaper cuttings, letters, business and personal stationery, programmes, orders of service, and apprenticeship papers. Not only is the rise and fall of the business well documented, but family photographs and announcements of births and deaths trace the Hiltons through 4 generations, showing how the family business extended as the family itself grew.
The album illustrates how business records represent not only the corporate administration of a company, but can provide a rich resource for family and local history. Spanning over a century, the narrative of the family is so interwoven with that of the business, that the album presents a rare opportunity to view how such businesses were tied to the local community.
The carefully collected records feature local interests such as the Haywards Heath Brotherhood Brass and Reed Band, photographs of a tradesmen’s cricket match in 1909, and programmes from Haywards Heath Football Club matches. Details refer to the family’s role in the Sussex Road Methodist Church, and to George Hilton’s roles in local government, as well as photographs and programmes recording commemorations of national events such as coronations, royal jubilees and WW1.
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5 thoughts on “Album/Scrapbook History of George Hilton & Sons, 1872-1992 (Add Mss 54798)”
Please can you tell me if I can view this scrap book? The first George Hilton was my great grandfather and I would dearly love to see the history of the family. Thank you.
Dear Heather. Many thanks for your enquiry. You would be very welcome to visit the Record Office where you will be able to see the original scrapbook. Details of our location and opening times can be found on our website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/. You can also search our online catalogue (available on our website) for descriptions of other documents and photographs relating to the Hilton family of Haywards Heath. If you have any further questions we’d be very happy to help–you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck with your research.
Thank you for your helpful
email response. I actually live in Norfolk and it would be virtually impossible for me to get to your records office as I am not in the best of health. I wonder whether it is possible to have photocopies of all the George Hilton memorabilia that you have? I appreciate this would have to be paid for, but it would be lovely for me. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards
Hi Heather. We’d be very happy to help you get some copies of material relating to George Hilton. If you would like to email us on email@example.com we can send you the relevant forms and advise you of costs. We look forward to hearing from you, Lauren.
Good evening – I have been googling because today we purchased a George Hilton sideboard and I have been looking up the history. It is an absolutely stunning piece of furniture, which we love, and will cherish.
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