Cripps, the name has been with me since my very first day on The Bold Street Project back in January. Cripps was an upmarket ladies’ outfitters based at the bottom of Bold Street (in what is now Waterstones) catering for the well-to-do of Merseyside and Cheshire society. I have records mentioning Cripps in its location 12, 14 & 16 Bold Street from the mid 1800’s - late 1900’s.
I was contacted by a lady who worked at Cripps, Maureen, who was a dressmaker in the store from 1962 - 66. For a dressmaker a job at Cripps meant you were set up such was the prestigious reputation of the shop.
Workers would arrive and leave through the entrance at the back of the buidling, onto Wood Street. Here a man would be waiting to sign you into work, Maureen generally remembers it being a very strict environment to work in with no talking amongst the staff and no music playing in the shop.
Cripps was known for making and altering clothing on site which stretched from hats and furs to specially made dresses for ladies who had specific physical requirements from their clothes.
Often ladies would have a new musquash, mink, rabbit or fox fur coat instead of an engagement ring from prospective husbands, although the irony was that most of the women working in Cripps were not married - expected instead to be married to their job.
Maureen particularly remembers a lady named Miss Delaney, her supervisor during her years at Cripps.
Image Courtesy of Liverpool Record Office.