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History

From the swinging sixties through to the present day, here’s a look at the timeline which shaped the company’s development   

  • 1960
    Young entrepreneurial founder and current Chairman, Barry Page, starts working on the Leicester Retail Market.  Here he identifies a gap in the market for selling fashion handbags to the girls from the hosiery factories who flock to the market on pay day to spend their money on dresses, stockings and cosmetics for their weekend nights out.  In the 60’s and 70’s handbags were as much of an obsession as they are today, only with a price tag of just 19 shillings and 11 pence, equivalent to £1 today.
     
  • 1975
    The transition is made into corporate clothing with the manufacture of a range of leather goods, including footwear, belts, overnight bags and handbags, for most of the European airlines including British Airways and Monarch and many airlines that no longer exist today.
     
  • 1980
    The business flourishes and with it comes the need for a manufacturing unit to control the product availability and quality.  The old Hart & Levy building (now known as Lever Bros) – a five storey property in the centre of Leicester - is purchased.
     
  • 1982
    The success of the manufacturing unit facilitates the move into retailing and the new company, Baron Handbags, expands across the country with 70 in-store concessions. At this time the high street retailers are not selling handbags, but when they are alerted to the demand for fashion accessories, the business becomes steadily diluted as imports grow and there is pressure on prices.
     
  • 1985
    As manufacturing becomes increasingly difficult under the pressure of cheaper imports, the company evolves into DIY/hardware with a range of leather tool holders, as well as kneepads. The business becomes known as Town and Country and expands into the garden industry when Barry identifies an opportunity to develop a more sophisticated range of gardening gloves, including gloves specifically designed for females, as at the time, only men’s gloves are available.
     
  • 1997
    Having shaken up the gardening gloves sector, Town & Country expands into footwear with the company’s first Wellington boot. This was joined by a zip front ankle boot - the first of its kind to be made available to the garden retail market. Today we offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of outdoor footwear from under one roof - covering all styles and price points. We have even helped some of our retail partners set up dedicated footwear departments in their stores.
     
  • 2006
    Town & Country enters a new product area, with the launch of a range of weather stations and outdoor clocks under the Weathereye brand name. A natural progression for a company keen to help gardeners plan and make the most of their time outdoors.
     
  • Present Day
    Recognised as one of the leading brands in the gardening industry, Town & Country retains a reputation for innovative design and styling, quality products and exemplary customer service. Our aim is to continue to bring to market products which combine high performance, style, reliability and affordability.