Christmas crowds observe the show of toys in Selfridges window display, 26 November 1946. mediadrumworld/TopFoto

By Josie Adnitt


COLOURISED pictures of Selfridges in its heyday have been revealed after it was announced that the iconic department store is up for sale.

In one image, English aviator Captain Campbell Black demonstrated a 1930’s aeroplane engine and chair parachute at the Selfridges’ Modern Boy Exhibition to a riveted crowd of young men on January 2, 1936.

Another image showed Christmas shopper crowds looking into the decorated windows of London’s Oxford Street Selfridges – known as the most famous store in London – on November 25, 1948.

Captain Campbell Black demonstrated a modern aeroplane engine and chair parachute, 2 January 1936. mediadrumworld/TopFoto

Others show a shopper and a policeman looking through an original copy of Shakespeare’s poem Venus and Adonis in the rare books section on January 6, 1920, and a maker of wooden houses demonstrating his craft in-store on March 10, 1936.

Taken from the TopFoto archive, these colourised photos show some of the most remarkable moments from Selfridges’ glorious 112-year history.

The mastermind behind the brand, Gordon Selfridge, was 51 when the London store opened and is often attributed the phrase ‘the customer is always right’.

Children received hair cuts on rocking horses in the hairdressing department at Selfridges. mediadrumworld/TopFoto

The Oxford Street store began construction in 1908 and in 1909 the eastern wings of the shop were opened. However, the building wasn’t completed until 2023.

When the eastern wings were opened in 1909, no expense was spared. Foreign visitors were provided with translators, with the store including luxuries like art galleries, a ‘silence room’, restaurants and a roof garden.

The store even included amenities like a post office, a theatre booking office, an information bureau and a library.

View of some of the Christmas decorations outside Selfridge’s store on Oxford Street, 23 November 1957. mediadrumworld/TopFoto

In 2003, it was privately bought by the Weston family in a £600 million takeover and now it’s up for sale again. It was reported last month a private buyer had approached the Weston’s with an offer, and now Credit Suisse is looking for a buyer in the region of £4 billion.