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Teachers' notes and discussion ideas

Activity ideas for KS1-KS3

Timeline (KS1/2)

Print out copies of the images of the exteriors of the Bromley store (1912, 1931, 1958, 1980s and 2005). Perhaps you could also find a picture of the store as it looks today? Working in groups, children can be asked to put the images into chronological order. For KS1 use fewer images and ask them to put them in order from oldest to newest. 


  • How did you know which one was the oldest?
  • How did you know which one was the newest?
  • Which one is a photograph of how the store looks now?
  • Which is the oldest? How do you know?
  • Which is the most recent/newest? How do you know?
  • What clues did you use to help you decide how old the photographs were?
  • What has changed about the way the store fronts looked over time?
  • Are there any similarities between the way the store looked in 1912 and in 2005?

KS2/3 -  What has happened to the old Bromley High Street
The 1958 photo shows a lot of the High Street. What other shops are there around the M&S store? Through fieldwork, internet research or through contacting your local Archive or Local Studies Library, could you find out what those shops are now? The Related Links at the bottom of the page might help you.

How has the area changed? Are there any other shops still there now that were on the High Street at the time? You may even be able to look at Trade Directories (old versions of Phone Books) to see what businesses or homes were on the street in the past. 

Create a presentation to share your findings as a group. 

You will need to take a close look at the images showing what the buildings used to look like. This might help you pinpoint which building on the street used to be M&S. 
  • Are the original buildings still standing? Or has something new been built in its place?
  • Are they still businesses or are they now a home?
  • What are the other buildings around it being used for? 
  • As M&S grew as a company, they needed bigger stores to keep up with customer demand. Can you find out what was in the original M&S building at 20 Market Place?

Further questions for KS3

  • What were the big changes between the 1912 and the 1958 stores? What is happening in the 1959 photograph? 
  • What shops can you see next door in the 1958 photograph? Why haven’t those shops lasted as long as M&S?
  • What can the answers to the questions above tell you about the High Street and how it has changed over time?
  • Try and find copies of maps of Bromley from earlier time periods  ( see Related Links at the bottom of the page) and compare the types of buildings and layout of the areas when the shops were originally there. How have the areas changed? 
  • Could you do some fieldwork research on the street to find out more? You could look at the architecture of the street and try and see which were older or original buildings for example. You could mark your findings on a map of the street.
Could you present your findings with maps you have made up of the area in 1958 and the area as it is now? 

Builders (KS3)
The Bromley store has undergone a number of extensions and expansions over time. Read the store history (see also Downloads below).  Could you try to represent this using building blocks? Every time there is an extension use a different coloured brick to represent this change or addition. 

St Michael News (KS1-3)
Read about the history of the Bromley stores in the store history, and in particular the article about Mrs Kenway buying a cake in store from 1954. 

Create your own Newsletter, collecting stories about your school and any other news. Keep a copy somewhere safe, this would be interesting for anyone looking into the history of your school in the future. 

Alternatively, you could create the rest of a 1954 newsletter for M&S, using the photographs and store history for inspiration. Write articles on the store moving site and extending, or customer feedback or even staff activities. See if you can find newspaper articles from the time online, to see what kind of language people used at the time.  


Archive – the home of collections of historical records.
Fieldwork – collecting information from a different place to where you work or go to school.
Trade Directory   – Business listings produced before phone books, these listed names and addresses. 

See also the teachers' notes page for curriculum links, further images and a range of discussion ideas for KS1-3.

You can download all the images in PDF document - see also Downloads link below. 

View other relevant M&S resources on My Learning or scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of external links and resources on this topic.

M&S Bromley,129 High Street, 1958
M&S Bromley,129 High Street, 1960
Interior of M&S Bromley,129 High Street, 1977
M&S Bromley,129 High Street, 1980s