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“The official archives of M&S!”

Marks & Spencer: Marks in Time
Ranked #79 of 149 things to do in Leeds
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Did you know M&S was born in Leeds? Discover our story and unlock the fascinating journey that has made M&S one of Britain's best loved retailers. Explore our Marks In Time Exhibition and uncover some fascinating facts from over 130 years of M&S history: Did you know that we sold our first bra in 1926? How about that our scientists worked with the government during WW2 to help with rationing strategy? Or even that when we were one of the first to introduce 'avocado pears' in 1959 one customer tried to serve it as a dessert with custard? From the clothes we wear to the food we eat the Marks In Time Exhibition showcases the M&S Company Archive collection, tracking the development of the business from 1884 to the present day. Not only is our exhibition completely free, we also welcome groups as part of our free Group Travel programme, and run schools and events programmes - see our website for more information.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The official archives of M&S!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

I visited here, having an hour or so to spare, and I am so glad I did. The staff are ever so friendly, there is free hot drinks, and its always changing. Apparently they have open days to show the public additional parts of the archive. Its only small (As its also a research centre) but worth a visit, and FREE. M&S was founded in Leeds, and its a huge asset to the city… Just a shame the Head Office is no longer here too.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank MPWharton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
117 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Very interesting and really helpful staff. Worth a visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

Hidden away in the backs of the University buildings is an amazing archive of Marks & Spencer's company since it's first market stalls opened in Leeds. The building houses something like 2000 items that have been collected by donations from staff and the general public, with only a small selection on display due to the rarity and fragility of the items being so old. The small exhibition traces the company's history from it's founder right through to the modern age with nice examples of the products of the time on display to look at and touch in certain cases. When I was there the really lovely member of staff on the day even lead us round personally telling us stories about the items, things from her experience of working for the company since the 70s and little snippets of information she had gathered about the items from the people donating them. She was amazing and really made the trip for us and said that she would be more than happy to answer questions - suggest for visits is definitely to get involved with the staff as their knowledge of the place is incredible.
The staff magazines from over the years are also on display for anyone to read and are very interesting to see what society was like 10, 20, 30 years ago.

All in all a really wonderful place to go and see how a small little market stall in Leeds has turned itself in to a huge company. And it's completely free!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Megan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline B, Public Relations Manager at Marks & Spencer: Marks in Time, responded to this review, 26 November 2013
Hi Megan,

Thank you for your review of the Marks in Time Exhibition, we welcome all comments from visitors as we want to ensure we're providing the best possible experience here at the M&S Company Archive. We're delighted that you enjoyed your visit. I've passed your review on to the Front of House team, and the colleague you mention was thrilled that she'd made your visit so special. Your review made her day.

Very best wishes,
Caroline
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Fascinating”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2013

The M&S Archive provides a relatively new exhibition outlining the history of the company's brands, products and stores. Complete with displays, the space also provides computers for research purposes and a reading area. There are some fantastic staff magazines to read through that provide some really nostalgic pictures and advertisements; I found the 1988/99 selection to be particularly interesting!

It is one of those places you can spend either 10 min (for an overview) or an hour + in detail. I would recommend using the books and computer facilities to gain more of a detailed insight into aspects you're interested in as the exhibition displays can't cover everything in depth.

A worthwhile, free visit - definitely recommended.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Alexsouthgate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline B, Public Relations Manager at Marks & Spencer: Marks in Time, responded to this review, 26 November 2013
Hi Alex,

Thank you for your review of the exhibition. So glad you enjoyed your visit - the staff magazines are a particular favourite with our visitors! As well as the books and online resources in the Research Area, visitors can also book into the Reading Room to view items from the collection that are not on display. If you'd like to know more you can explore our Online Catalogue through our website. We refresh the exhibition every three months, so please do visit again.

Best wishes
Caroline
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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