TODAY, in this edition of nostalgia we are looking back at memories of the Dixons department store in Whitehaven and Workington.

J. Dixon & Son, on Lowther Street in Whitehaven is the town’s oldest surviving family business, it has been apart of the town for 141 years now. J Dixon and Son Ltd was founded in 1882 at 23 Queen Street, Whitehaven, by the late Mr Joseph Dixon.

In 1885, the business moved to 7 Lowther Street which was originally a house converted into a shop. It was one of the first shops in the town to be lit by electricity. When it first opened, the basement and ground floor were used for the business, and the family lived upstairs.

In 1923, 8 Lowther Street, the house next door to the shop was acquired and a new shop front was installed.

During the First World War, the King and Queen visited the Workington Iron and Steel company, and the A branch in Workington was opened at Murray Road. In 1955 and 1956, two Oxford Street stores opened creating a larger store.

By 1962, the firm which had now become a private limited company, entirely owned by the Dixon family, advanced to acquiring Edinburgh House, Lowther Street, Carlisle. The largest furnishing store and showroom in the county of that time.

In the 1970s, eight shops next to the Whitehaven store were bought. The whole site was demolished and a new modern department store built.

In the 1980s, the site of the Cumberland Cloth Company on Maryport Road, Workington was bought, and Dunmail Park, was opened in 1988. 

In the 1990s, Dunmail Park was extended with six more shops, a car showroom and petrol station. 

The company’s millienium project was to extend Dunmail Park again.