Worcester to go back in time to when Kays and Co ruled the mail-order world

Malvern Gazette: A vintage Kays catalogue A vintage Kays catalogue

AT its peak, it was one of the Worcester’s biggest employers and remains synonymous with the city.

And at a special event on Saturday, people can take a rare peek at archive material from Kays and Co thanks to a national initiative.

Visitors can explore the history behind the company that rose to become a pioneer of mail-order shopping at The Hive, Worcester, as part of the National Archives’ Explore Your Archive campaign.

Four years after the company closed in 2007, the University of Worcester’s research team won funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee to create a World of Kays website.

It will feature 1,500 images from the catalogues, poetry and audio memories from former Kays staff as well as films made by undergraduates from the university’s digital media production degree course.

Alison Winston, of the University of Worcester Research Collections, said: “Kays and Co were a very influential company in Worcestershire throughout the 20th century, both in terms of the number of local people they employed and the way they represented a shift in attitudes and lifestyle during this time period.

“Our archive is a great resource for showing us how life and consumer behaviour changed between 1890 and 2000, and we would encourage anyone with an interest in changing British lifestyles, fashion, design or Worcester’s local history to come along and have a look at some of the treasures of our collection.”

The event will take place from 10am to 4pm.

For information on University of Worcester Research Collections, visit libguides. worc.ac.uk/researchcollections or contact researchcollections@worc.ac.uk.

Comments (1)

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10:38am Sat 7 Dec 13

copierman says...

Kay's was a early version of amazon without the ability to order from ones own IT devices.
Kay's was a early version of amazon without the ability to order from ones own IT devices. copierman
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