Where it all started
In 1885, Charles Biddle opened his first shop on the corner of Martyr Road. With his background in printing, Biddles offered a reliable local printing service for shop keepers and traders in Guildford and the surrounding area. When Charles retired in 1894, the business continued to trade under the watchful eye of Leonard and eventually, his three sons. As the years went by, more printing equipment was purchase and Charles rented more space, moving into many local buildings. A decision was made to combine the print works, book binding and stationery shop, under one roof. As suitable premises couldn’t be found locally, Biddles decided to buy some land close to the original store in Martyr Road and building plans were drawn up.
Just 50 yards away from it’s original site, the new Biddles of Guildford building was
constructed using state of the art design. The use of reinforced concrete meant the print works could be installed on the first floor, leaving the whole of the ground floor as a new stationery and office supplies store. The store traded from this site until the late 80’s, with a short break during World War II, where the building was repurposed to manufacture aircraft parts.
After this period the business went from strength to strength and growth continued from the Martyr Road building until 1989.
A decision was made to concentrate on the printing business and transfer to a new industrial premises. The office supplies business was put up for sale, looking for new owners to move the business forward.
1989 - present day
The stationery business was bought by Straker Office Supplies and a new premises had to be found. After a long search, the Ward Street shop became available, only 100m from our original store! This is where Biddles continue to trade today. With the new owners came new products including a larger range of popular stationery, office furniture and, in the early 90’s, printer inks. Biddles continued to trade successfully under Straker, OyezStraker and Office Team. However in 2020, the national lockdowns curtailed trade, and our owners finances were stretched leading to the eventual closure in May 2020. However Neal and David, the managers of Biddles, rescued the business and in July 2020 Biddles of Guildford Ltd was open for business once more.