Established in the 1850s
Towards the end of the 1850’s, Edwin Penfold Hall (1835-1910) went into partnership with a member of the Lyon family, an old established manufacturer of pianofortes. Initially the business acted as an agent, introducing interested clients to London based piano manufacturers. Shortly afterwards their first shop selling pianos, harmoniums, harps and other musical items opened at the corner of East Street and Grand Junction Parade (King’s Road).
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Diversification of the business
Although the name Lyon and Hall was used throughout its entire existence, Lyon’s interest in the company did not last for any longer than 18 months, leaving Hall as the sole proprietor. The East Street shop was the focus of the business until 1941, when bomb damage helped decide to move to new premises at 92, Western Road. By this time the business had diversified into record sales, also offering radio and gramophone sets as well as the first televisions.
Catering for popular and classical tastes
The company took particular pride in promoting various entertainments, both popular and classical, as well as being amongst the first to offer new technological advances. Local recitals and demonstrations were offered in the ‘Clarence Room’ in the Metropole Hotel, free to those obtaining tickets from their showrooms. The company celebrated its centenary in 1956, although by the 1970’s the Western Road shop was concentrating more upon colour television sales. Lyon and Hall ceased trading, but the premises remained as a music shop into the 21st century
You can read a personal reminiscence from someone who worked in the shop in the 1950s here.