Store that became Debenhams was once described as ‘Hastings Palace’

This image, supplied by Hastings local historian Steve Peak, shows the Plummer Roddis department store – later to become Debenhams, as it was in 1927.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 11:50 am

Steve is currently working on a book which covers the history of The America Ground, where Robertson Street now stands.

He said: “The 26th September 1927 saw the opening of the ‘Hastings Palace of Industry’ – the new Plummers department store (later Debenhams).

“The Hastings Observer described it as ‘The New Mecca for Ladies’, with “the ground floor entirely devoted to all the delightful fancy goods that are a necessity in every woman’s life.”

Plummers in 1927 SUS-210902-101835001

Plummer Roddis Ltd had demolished their existing buildings and created what was to be the town’s leading department store from then onwards. It was designed by Hastings architect Henry Ward, who died the same month that Plummers opened.

Plummer Roddis started out as separate companies in the 19th century. William Plummer started out as a draper in Hastings and in 1871 had a store at 3 Robertson Street.

George Roddis in 1870 was listed as a draper in Market Harborough, but by 1881 was a partner in a drapers and milliners called Roddis & Goldsmith at 1-2 Robertson Street in Hastings.

The store was rebranded as Debenhams, in the early 1970’s. Now the famous Hastings store is set to close following its going into administration.