Visitors to Wolverhampton City Archives' latest exhibition have a chance of winning a large piece of Beatties' history.

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A giant Beatties bear is being raffled off in aid of Compton Hospice as part of the fascinating new display which delves into the history of Wolverhampton's most famous shopping destination.

A Better Place to Shop: The Story of Beatties features a selection of catalogued material relating to the department store from its founding in 1877 to present day.

From its opening in the 1870s, the Victoria Street shop went on to become widely known in the region for selling high quality merchandise and for providing excellent customer service.

To many people in Wolverhampton and beyond, it really was "a better place to shop" - a slogan which was frequently used by Beatties in its marketing. The collection of archive material, which was previously held at the store, was donated to Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies last year and is on show until Saturday 29 March, 2014.

It gives people the opportunity to view items from the collection, from price lists for ladies' mantles - or capes - in the 1890s to advice for women on how to dress to please a man in the 1960s.

Karen Davies, Cataloguing Archivist, said: "A Better Place to Shop: The Story of Beatties reflects on changes to how people shop and dress, as well as changes to social attitudes during the course of over 100 years of trading.

"The collection is not only a significant addition to the City Archives' collection but also highlights an important part of Wolverhampton's retail history.

"Visitors will have the opportunity to record their memories of Beatties in a special book that will be catalogued as part of the collection, and will also have the chance to enter a raffle to win a Beatties bear - while raising money for Compton Hospice at the same time."

Wolverhampton City Archives is based at the Molineux Hotel Building, Whitmore Hill, Wolverhampton, and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 5pm, Wednesdays from 10am to 7pm and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. Entry if free, and for more information, please call 01902 552480.

  • released: Tuesday 7 January, 2014