House of Fraser: Shoppers share memories as site closes for last time

Picture by Tony Elkin
Picture by Tony Elkin

Shoppers shared their memories of the Chichester House of Fraser as it shut its doors for the last time on Saturday (January 26).

A sign on the now locked door of the House of Fraser site read: “Thank you and farewell! Everyone at House of Fraser Chichester would like to thank you for your custom of the past 70 years.”

Memories of the site over the years were shared on social media with some fans of the store coming from as far as Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Karine Wood said: “My husband and I are really sad it’s closing. 20 years ago we worked together as teens, chatted again on Facebook and arranged to have coffee to catch up in the cafe there as old friends. 6 years on we are now married and just had a baby boy. That day in House of Fraser changed our lives.”

Peter Nunn said: “It was my first job when I left school in 1965. I was paid £4 a week in the carpet department.”

Katharine Carlisle said: “I remember getting my ears pierced there at the tender age of six. Felt so grown up. My sister was furious as she had to wait until she was ten. Mum got nervous as I was asking about how you went about doing it yourself.”

Jamie Mc Greal said: “We used to get our Jam tickets from there. They would phone up Portsmouth Guildhall and Brighton Centre. £3.50 I recall for the ticket and about 20p for the phone call.”
Deyrick Del Pulley said: “My mum used to work in Morants (as it was). She tells a story of how she was asked by a customer to server her next even though there were others who had been waiting longer, so my mother told her politely ‘no, there are other people in the queue ahead of you’, the lady in question then remarked ‘don’t you know who I am? I’m the landlady of the Rovers Return on Coronation Street’ my mother replied ‘sorry, we don’t have commercial TV on in our house’ always made me laugh. Such a brilliant Chichester/Itchenor put-down.”

Karl Saunders said: “I now live in Melbourne Australia but return to Chi every other year and return to this great department store to purchase clothes, the staff are always friendly, a great range but like most retailers it’s hard to compete these days. I will miss those visits, best of luck to the staff.”

Gloria Robinson said: “Had my last coffee at the Wild Mint cafe last Saturday. So sad. I remember having my first grown up lunch in Morants with my grandfather in 1963 aged 13. I felt so grown up, orange juice in a balloon glass.”

Andrew Slade said: “I remember playing a trumpet fanfare for Morrants late 60’s. I think it was for Valerie Singleton from Blue Peter to open it. Not sure why though, [it] could have been a sale. “