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Over the coming months we’ll be putting together a timeline of adverts used by Vokins.

Originally founded in 1882, the Leeson & Vokins partnership traded from a shop in North Street Brighton, just down from Ship Street. Over the coming years further freehold properties were purchased in Brighton.

The Leeson & Vokins partnership was dissolved in 1924. By the mid 1930’s several of the properties had been knocked together to form one large department store. The trading name W H Vokins Limited was first used in 1937. It remained in use until Vokins Limited as a company became available in 1983.

The North Street store closed in January 1997. David Vokins went on to run the successful furniture centre that the family had opened in 1985 and closed in February 2015. Stephen Vokins took over running the linens and beds stores in Hove and Rustington, which continue to trade today.

We still pride ourselves on our independence, service and expertise. After all, we have a fine tradition to follow.


The first advert / advertorial that we still have record of was one placed in Progress, a monthly magazine announcing the annexation of premises, 32-33 North Street, Brighton opening of new departments and showrooms on the ground floor. This dates back to 1886.

Vokins Advert 1886-258-376

The first Sale Advert we have dates from May 1894. The strap line is ‘Sale of an Entire Stock of Drapery’. My Great Grandfather William Henry Vokins had purchased the entire stock from the trustees of Henry Sturt to be offered at exceedingly low prices to affect a speedy clearance. The sale started on Wednesday 16th May 1894. The advert states ‘All parcels delivered Free by our new Vans’. I particularly like the line ‘A VISIT OF INSPECTION is most Respectfully Solicited’

Vokins Advert May 1894-258

28th June 1895 sees the ‘Great Clearance Sale’ previous to extensive alterations. Once again a polite call to action strap line is included. An Early Call is most Respectfully Solicited

Vokins Advert 1895-300