In late October 1922, 45 traders met in the Town Hall to plan for Tiverton ‘Shopping Week’ which was to take place in early December. There was already £150 worth of advertising pledged towards the production of a handbook to promote the week. Three sub-committees were formed: ‘Booklet and Advertising’, ‘Competition’ and ‘Window Dressing’. It is notable that there were no women involved in these committees!

A photo showing a close up of an article in a newspaper about 'Tiverton Shopping Week'. Black type on white paper.

The Booklet and Advertising sub-committee did their work and produced an 80 page handbook which sold for 6d (2½p). The Museum archive has a copy. The foreword of the handbook explains ‘It is a very common error to decry and underrate one’s own Town as well as its Shops and its conditions generally’. The main aim of the week was to promote the ‘tradespeople’ of Tiverton. The handbook is full of adverts but interspersed by text on Tiverton past and present and the details of the various competitions. The back cover features special train and bus timetables for the week.

Photo showing a page from the Tiverton Shopping Week booklet showing train times for December 1922. Black type on white paper. There are two incoming trains a day into Tiverton from Dulverton, Bampton, Hemyock, Culmstock, Uffculme, Cadeleigh and Up-Exe (Thorverton). There are also 3 incoming trains a day from Cullompton, Hele & Bradninch and Burlescombe. The article says G.W.R were issuing cheap 3rd Class Tickets on Wednesday 6th December 1922. A page from the Tiverton Shopping Week booklet showing incoming and outgoing bus times for Shopping Week in December 1922. The bus company named is Croscols. There are several incoming services a day coming into Tiverton from all the surrounding towns and villages, including Cullompton, Uffculme, Sampford Peverell, Bampton and Oakford Bridge. A double page spread of the Tiverton Shopping Week guide showing several adverts for Tiverton businesses from 1922. They include adverts for Thos. Kirk on Fore Street (We have built up a reputation for Xmas presents and we mean to keep it!), A Hamilton (High Class Fruiter and Florist) and Bert Ostler (Hairdresser and Tobacconist).


The owner of handbook number 1651 obviously entered the spelling competition, the ‘coupon’ has been cut out. It demanded very careful scrutiny! In the first 40 pages I only spotted 3 definite and one possible mistake: ‘choclates’, ‘sachels’ and ‘hankerchiefs’ and ‘crepe de chene’ rather than crepe de chine. There are probably more!!

A page from the Tiverton Shopping Week guide detailing the Great Spelling Competition'. It states 'A perusal of the Advertisements in this book will reveal many intentional Errors. Can you find them?'. There are cash prizes up for grabs (1st prize £3) to be used on goods in the Advertisers' shops. Part of the page has been cut out showing the original owner of the book entered the competition.

Written by Museum Volunteer, Sue