Bowles and Son Tobacconists of Cardiff, Records

Scope and Content

The records comprise photographs of Bowles and Son shops and cigar maturing room; newspaper cutting showing Bowles and Son shop on the Hayes, Cardiff; bank book, cash books and ledgers; staff and factory salaries and wages books, price lists and brochures.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bowles and Son Ltd. was established in 1888. The company was a wholesale and retail tobacconist. During the 1950s it was run by Reginald Bowles and his brother Ivor. Its head office was at 9 James Street, Butetown, Cardiff, on the corner of James Street and Louisa Street. The company owned shops across Cardiff, in St. Mary's Street, Castle Street, Queen Street and High Street, along with a shop in Station Approach, Pontypridd. At one time, the company owned a total of 11 shops, some of which had been taken over from Percy Cadle. All the shops were of a similar appearance and smell. Most carried the same sort of stock, with some variations. One shop stocked sweets and two others, on High Street and St. Mary's Street, had a barber's shop at the rear. The firm's stock was held in a warehouse in the basement of 9 James Street, which also included a cigar curing room. The stock was transferred from the basement warehouse to the first floor shop by dumb waiter. The second floor was used as office space. The firm stocked a wide range of tobacco, including a number of foreign brands for the large proportion of regular customers from Cardiff's Somali community and for the seamen who came in to the docks. The firm also stocked a vast range of pipes, cigarette lighters, ashtrays, matches, spills and pipe cleaners. As a wholesaler, the company supplied pubs, clubs and other shops across south east Wales. The company was sold by its owners, Tom and William (Bill) Bowles, sons of Reginald and Ivor Bowles respectively, in 1979.

Conditions Governing Access

Items containing information on named individuals may be restricted in accordance with data protection legislation and GA policy.

Acquisition Information

The records were deposited by the daughter of Tom Bowles in Aug 2006 and Sep 2010.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is not currently available.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Fair condition

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Rhian Phillips for the Glamorgan Archives, with reference to notes on the company's history produced by the depositor. Revised by Hannah Price.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Appraisal Information

All records which meet the collection policy of Glamorgan Archives have been retained.

Custodial History

The records remained in the custody of the depositor until transferred to Glamorgan Archives.


Accruals are possible.