The Billings & Edmonds Story
George Edmond Harris was born in March 1863 in the small market town of Stowmarket in Suffolk. Thomas Cranmore Edmonds, also known as TC, was born on 6th August 1885. A tailor originally from Lincolnshire, TC joined his Uncle George towards the close of the 19th Century and together with Mr Billings, they established Billings & Edmonds supported by financial backing from the Directors of Ayres & Brunswick, Hatters of Lexington Street, London.
The oldest set of financial records in the Company’s archives is a Balance Sheet dated 31st January 1897, so it was trading in 1896 and that is the year it is deemed to have been established. The business was established as a men’s tailor and outfitter for children attending leading Schools all over England.
By the 1920’s, catalogues showed the Company offering uniform requirements not just for Eton College and Harrow School but for many other leading English Schools, including Stowe, Oundle, Rugby, Lancing and Charterhouse. Between 1920 and 1950 many families would travel across the country by train to attend the Billings & Edmonds West End store located at Princes Street. In most cases two trips were required, the first for measuring up the child and the second for the fitting.