Samuel Reynolds, the founder of the firm, was born on May 2nd 1847 in Thaxted, Essex. After serving his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, he came to Bognor at the age of 19 and married Eliza Schreeder in the Hanover Chapel, which was situated opposite the present Reynolds Store, on August 3rd 1867.
The couple then opened their small store on the corner of West Street. As Samuel’s reputation for quality and service grew and the business prospered, within three years he moved to larger premises at 27 High Street, where he amalgamated with his brother Alfred.
The sign over the shop said S and A Reynolds, Auctioneers, Appraisers, House Agents, Cabinet Makers, Upholsterers and Undertakers. The Reynolds brothers continued to expand, acquiring 29 High Street. Samuel died on April 17th 1897 and his wife Eliza continued to run the business with their children Charles, Maud, Ada and Beatrice. Samuel’s son Frank joined the business in 1897 when his father left him £30 in his will on the condition that he gave up his photographic business.
Under the their control, further expansion continued which included the building of the large Depository in Canada Grove.
In the 1920’s Charles’ three sons, Alfred, Gordon and Don, came into the business together with his nephew Fred. Due to their high standards and impeccable reputation, which remains unchanged to this day, they undertook one of their most memorable of contracts. In 1929, Frank and his nephew Alfred oversaw the conveying of King George V’s personal effects from Bognor Railway Station to Craigweil House in Aldwick, and the preparation and furnishing of the property for the King’s convalescence. The Company then returned the King’s personal effects to Windsor Castle.
In 1948, Charles three sons, Alfred, Gordon, and Don, together with his nephew Fred, all became Directors, joining with their Uncle Frank and Aunty Maud, when the firm became a Limited Company.
Norman Reynolds joined the family concern in 1953 as a junior clerk in the Auctioneers Department after completing his National Service. Although he is now retired – he still has an interest in the business and remains our Chairman.
Today, Norman’s four sons Dominic, James, Matthew, and Stephen maintain the family tradition combining modern day efficiency and old fashioned customer care; this has clearly proven to be the secret of long lasting success.
For over 150 years, Reynolds has served the community and clearly understands their company and most importantly the needs of their customers.