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Harry Selfridge at Selfridges Selfridges

Plaque: Harry Selfridge at Selfridges


{Brass relief laid into the floor of the main entrance to Selfridges:}
Laid by the members of this house in admiration of him who conceived & gave it being. 1909 - 1930.

{To the right of the main text is some lettering that is too worn to be deciphered, but is actually:}
Gilbert Bayes

The feet of all the customers visiting "this house" have, over the years, softened the image and lettering beautifully. The "him" in the main text is not explicitly named as Mr Selfridge, but it must mean him.

The store opened in 1909, but it was built in phases, the last being the grand entrance which was finished in 1928, so the 1930 date is odd. Consequently this plaque has been in our Puzzle Corner since we first found it in about 2006.

In  2016, Londonist prompted us to solve the puzzle. Their very interesting post Secrets of Selfridges points out that the magnificent Queen of Time Clock on the façade, immediately above this plaque, was installed in 1931 to mark the store's 21st birthday, and it is by Gilbert Bayes.

We deduce that the management used the occasion of about 20 or 21 years to celebrate and, more importantly, publicise the store. Those years were a financial low point for Selfridge and for the economy generally so any way of drumming up business would be welcome.

Site: Selfridges (2 memorials)

W1, Oxford Street, Selfridges

The centenary plaque is on the west side of the western pillar at the main entrance. The brass plaque is on the floor of that entrance lobby.

The statue/clock above this splendid Art-Deco entrance is the Queen of Time riding in her Ship of Commerce by Gilbert Bayes. See Ornamental Passions for details. It has also been credited to Henry Poole.

2016: Ian Visits unearthed papers detailing discussions between Selfridges and London Underground about building a tunnel from the store to Bond Street Station, sadly never built.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Harry Selfridge at Selfridges

Information Subjects commemorated

Harry Selfridge

Born Wisconsin. Too small to join the navy he became a clerk in a department ...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Harry Selfridge at Selfridges

Information Created by

Gilbert Bayes

Born 6 Oval Road, Camden Town. Also did the bronze group with clock at the en...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Harry Selfridge at Selfridges

Information Also at this site

Selfridges centenary

Selfridge & Co. Limited Unveiled in 2009 by Galen, Hilary and Alannah Wes...

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