Yeovil People

john gliddon

Draper, Gent's Outfitter and Undertaker


John Gliddon was born in Williton, Somerset, in 1881, probably the son of ironmonger and founder Benjamin Gliddon and his wife Anne. In the 1891 census 10-year old John was a boarder at Alcombe School, Dunster. Ten years later the 1901 census listed John, by now aged 19, working as a draper's assistant and living in lodgings in Barbourne Road, Worcester.

In the autumn of 1910, at Penzance, Cornwall, John married Evelyn Maud Roberts (1882-1965), daughter of ironmonger James Henwood Roberts (1860-1936) and Lucy Jane née Cunnack (1859-1938). By this time John had clearly made a success of himself and by the time of the 1911 census 29-year old John and 28-year old Evelyn had moved to Yeovil and were living in Wyndham House in Princes Street. John listed his occupation as a draper. Living with them were Evelyn's parents as well as a draper's clerk, a milliner, five draper's assistants, a housekeeper and a general domestic servant. Wyndham House was John's home whereas his shop premises, certainly by 1908, were at Alma House, located between the Mermaid Hotel and the shop premises of James Moffat.

John Gliddon was a tailor and outfitter, specialising in ladies' millinery and gentlemen's hats  and was the local agent for the cloth from Puller & Sons, the Perth dye works. As noted on his stationery shown below, his company was in an ideal position to run all aspects of the undertaking business and the bereaved would be catered for; from mourning wear for all the family, to appropriate cloths to drape over the coffin and bier. It even hired out funeral carriages and horses.

John and Evelyn were to have two children; Ada Mary (1912-1992) and John Henwood (1917-1985).

Kelly's Directory of 1919 had two entries for John Gliddon & Co of 3 High Street; one as "Outfitters etc," the other as "Undertaker & Funeral Furnishers". These listings were repeated in the Post Office Directory of 1935.

John and Evelyn later moved to 'Lyncroft', The Park, where John died on 27 March 1947 aged 66. His will was proved in Bristol in July and his effects were valued at £49,760 10s 6d (about £5.7 million at today's value).

Edwin Snell's Directory of 1954 listed John Gliddon & Co of 3 High Street twice; as "Milliner & Ladies' Outfitters" and as "Undertakers". Gliddon's later had an outlet in Princes Street. Evelyn died in 1965 at the age of 82.




From my collection

A receipt, dated December 1919, from John Gliddon & Co, of Alma House, High Street. At this time Gliddon's clearly only dealt in cash with no credit terms offered since the receipt clearly states "Ready Money Only".


An Edwardian postcard showing Alma House at centre.


A Gliddon's advertisement dating to 1922.


From my collection

A Gliddon's advertisement in a Yeovil Guide of the late 1920s. 


By the time of this advertisement in the Western Gazette, 11 March 1932, Gliddon's were offering wedding dresses from £1 1s 9d to £6 6s 0d.


From my collection

This postcard of High Street, probably dating to the 1930s or 1940s, shows Alma House at dead centre - the short, two-storey white building with a parapet and awnings.


The centre section of the previous photograph enlarged to show Alma House at centre.


From my collection

Gliddons' advertisement in the 1953 Yeovil Guide.


The new 'Gliddons of Yeovil' shopfront in Princes Street during the 1960s.


By the mid-1960's when this photograph was taken, Alma House had a new front to both floors. John Gliddon's business had been replaced by Gamis' store and later by Dingles, then by Denner's. Today it is occupied by Beale's department store.