Oswald Bailey’s centenary

Near the start of the Bournemouth Coast Path is Poole Head which is the beginning of the seven mile long Poole Bay cliff. The first house is Chaddesley Gate which was the home of Oswald Bailey, founder of the outdoor shops.

This year the Oswald Bailey chain is celebrating its centenary with grandson Stephen Bailey as managing director.

Oswald opened his first shop in Birmingham in 1906. The Bournemouth shop did not open until 1930 but it was soon followed by branches in Poole and Southampton. The founder’s house was built for him in 1937. He retired, having opened fourteen shops, in 1948 and died in 1962.

Today the headquarters is at Boscombe, further along the coast path, and the twenty branches include shops not only in and around Bournemouth and Birmingham but also in Bath, Bristol, Gloucester and Salisbury.

This month staff members are marking the anniversary by climbing Ben Nevis.

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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