Life for the Skidmores would be peaceful and prosperous in Abertillery until 1914, when Britain would find herself at war with Germany. Several members of the Skidmore family signed up, including Edward’s youngest son, Stanley Hugh Skidmore, who joined up on 9th November, 1915, and was posted to the Royal Naval Division’s Machine Gun Company.
Stanley fought in France until he was shot on 17th Feb, 1917. He was sent back to England and hospitalised in Bristol and then transferred to convalesce at Ashcombe House in Weston-super-Mare.
Stanley did not leave Weston and, with his parents, he established Skidmores in 1919 at 1, The Parade, Lower Bristol Road, Worle, known to us now as 128 High Street, Worle. Stanley married Ellen ’Nel’ Pitman in 1922 and subsequently they took over and ran the business.
Worle High Street in the 1920s
Stanley sadly died in 1947, at only 52 years of age. Helping Nel to run the business now were her twin boys, Bill and Bert, who had returned from national service, having been serving in the Devonshire regiment since 1944.
Bill and Bert outside the shop in the 1950s
Bill and Bert were able to capitalise on new trends, like fitted carpets in the 1950s and fitted kitchens in the 1970s and, alongside the huge growth of Worle, they were able to further the business significantly. Bill’s son Brian joined the business in 1979, however Bill sadly passed away in May 1980, aged just 53.
Bert and Brian were joined in the business by Bert’s son Michael in 1983 and the trio ran the business until Bert sadly passed away in August 2010, aged 84. Brian and Michael, the fourth generation, celebrated 100 years of trading in 2019 and continue to manage the business today.
The story of Skidmores 1919 to 2019 is now available in the book ‘A Century of Skidmore