From Gentleman's outfitter to Antique & Craft Mews
...when H.T Wratten appeared in the local paper,
The Chislehurst Announcer, advertising his wears as a 'man’s outfitters'.
Wrattens remained a family owned store selling a variety of products for over six decades. Then, in 1996 the owners of Wrattens outfitters decided to sell the premises due to the ill health of one of the owners, Brian Mason who sadly passed away soon after.
Guy Osborn was fortunate enough to purchase the property and then had the exciting task of deciding what to do with the shop. He felt the style and size of the shop would work as well as an antique and craft mews.
"This meant the shop could be divided into a number of concession spaces with different people selling different products, which would allow customers to browse and meander around the shop -and hopefully buy our quality goods!"
A tea room was added to compliment this new focus. With the type of business decided, one thing remained; to choose a name. For Guy this was easy: it should remain “Wrattens”.
"I knew that there was great affection from local residents for the Wrattens store and past customers held the shop in great regard. We felt it was a fitting way of keeping Brian Mason’s memory with us."
Wrattens continued to serve the community and be a great place to visit and buy unusual gifts and curios. With the advent of Ebay and a changing antique market, over time the shop had a greater focus on gifts and homewares plus the café became a key part of the business.
It remained like this until August 2014.
In the Summer of 2014, the doors were closed on Wrattens to reinvigorate not just the interior of the shop but also develop the brand. In March 2015, we re-opened our gift shop to the public following a major refurbish of the store and our branding and have been delighted by the response from the local community. With a fresh modern approach, we hope you like what has been created. It has been developed with a huge passion for what we do and we simply love being part of Chislehurst life.
The Café also compliments our gift shop and hopefully offers something different on the High St.
Wrattens is a place to browse, shop and while away the hours in Chislehurst.
Wrattens new shopfront
Maureen Brown, Wrattens Manager
Maureen has led the Wrattens' team for almost 20 years. Initially the shop sold antiques but Maureen's love for art, living and people has transformed it over the years.
She puts a lot of time and effort into finding inspiring products that are welcomed on Wrattens' shelves.
Maureen's passion for art takes her to many exhibitions and drives her to find 'little gems' to bring to her customers. Her passion and dedication to Wrattens always comes across.
Maureen remains inspired by retail and is excited to welcome existing customers, as well as new ones, to share and enjoy the new Wrattens experience with her.
Maureen, Manager at Wrattens
Thank you to the Chislehurst Society for historic photographs
and additional historical information.