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Television and Radio retailers from 1922 to 2000.

We know that Louis Armstrong visited Europe — once in summer 1932 (England and Scotland) and for a longer time in 1933 and 1934 (England, Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, France). Newspaper reports exist, as do the first airshots and the famous 1933 film footage.
But I hadn’t known that Louis and his band had paid a ceremonial visit to a famous gramophone store, Cowlings Bros in St Nicholas Street, Leicester, on Saturday, February 24, 1934, until I’d seen this autograph book up for bid on eBay. Jazz Lives

I was to young to see that lovely old music store in Leicester, but heard so much about it, if it was here today I would go in and have a look around, looking at the lovely old things they had in the store.
Gary Smith

I worked at Cowlings in Belvoir street in the 1970s. I don't recall them being in St Nicholas Street, in fact, I cannot find a a street with that name. Only: Circle, Place and Walk. I know that they also had a place on St Peters Road. There was a fire at the Belvoir Road store in 1964, pretty well gutted the place, but that was a bit before I worked there. I'd be 11 years' old then.
Peter Merricks

G.W. Cowling Ltd


A report from the Leicester Mercury

June 3, 1964: Another spectacular fire occurred at Cowlings TV and record shop, on Belvoir Street. Two pumps and a turntable ladder were dispatched, finding the ground and first floors well alight.

Further pumps were requested, making six in total plus a second turntable ladder, requiring outside brigade assistance.

Firemen were injured by exploding plate glass windows. Five jets and breathing apparatus were needed to extinguish the fire.

G.W. Cowling Ltd


It is with regret that I have to announce the death of Trevor Sargent aged 82 ex managing director of G W Cowling Ltd.


Bran heathcote
07 Sep 2023 at 04:02
I worked at St Peters Rd from 1965 until 1977 did my apprenticeship there.
Dave Harwood
11 Oct 2023 at 07:29
I found this article in the ‘Leicester Evening Mail’ dated 20th July 1950: “LONG PLAYING RECORDS - an announcement from G. W. Cowling Ltd. At last the dream of every music lover has come true! Think what it means in added pleasure and convenience - a whole symphony on a twelve-inch record, a complete opera on two . .. incredible!”
Dave Harwood
13 Oct 2023 at 02:38
I found an advert in the ‘Midland Mail’ dated 2nd January 1920: “COWLING BROS. 15a, Church St., MARKET HARBOROUGH. ALL the latest Pantomime Hits in Sheet Music and on Records. Our Gramophones are not mere machines, they are Musical Instruments.” ... and other adverts, with the same address, up to 11th November 1938.
I also found an advert in the ‘Leicester Daily Mercury’ dated 17th September 1930: “COWLING BROS. ST. NICHOLAS STREET, LEICESTER (Corner of Great Central Street).” ... and another advert dated 10th February 1939: “COWLING BROS. BELVOIR STREET (just around the corner from Granby Street) and ST. NICHOLAS STREET, LEICESTER • Tel: 60653.”



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