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M&S Company Archive hosts behind the scenes tours for Heritage Open Day

On Saturday 10th September, the M&S Company Archive will be throwing its doors open and giving visitors the exclusive opportunity to delve into M&S’ 132-year history with behind the scenes tours.

As part of Heritage Open Days, England’s favourite heritage festival, the Archive will be hosting a special event, which will include sneak peaks at hidden gems in the Archive storage areas, guided exhibition tours and the popular Heritage Trail, a walking tour through the history of M&S in Leeds.


Visitors will be taken on a journey through the decades, from the early Penny Bazaar stalls to the current day, at the Marks in Time Exhibition, which features unique artefacts, historic garments, and films and photography. New and returning visitors alike will discover previously unseen gems from the retailer’s history, including essential homeware items sold for 1p on the original Penny Bazaar stalls, tea sets and clocks from the 1920s and 30s and 1940s wartime Utility clothing. The Exhibition also features an exclusive back of house area which showcases photos, recipes, and staff training guides from years gone by – including a guide to selling ‘brassieres’ from 1970.


Katharine Carter, M&S Company Archivist, said “We are really excited to open up our collections and share with the public once again at our Heritage Open Day event. The event provides a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn even more about M&S’ 132-year history, as well as taking part in the fascinating M&S Heritage Trail, which walks you through where it all began in Leeds.”


The event will take place at the M&S Company Archive, which is based in the Michael Marks Building at the University of Leeds. It will run from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 10th September and is free to attend. Booking is essential for the M&S Heritage Trail. Tickets can be reserved here:


Marks and Spencer Company Archive - interior