History of the business

We have been living and working in Saffron Walden since 1880, selling antique and secondhand furniture. We are often asked about the history of the business…
Reed and Son Business cards
Thomas Reed, the founder, moved back to Saffron Walden from London in 1880 where he had learned his trade as a carpenter. Having just married his childhood sweetheart Alice, he started selling coal from a property in the High Street. Thomas quickly proved himself quite the entrepreneur as he branched into antique furniture and took on one, and then two, premises in Castle Street. We still have this shop today, selling antique furniture – just as it used to be.
When his son George joined the business, the name ‘T. Reed and Son’ was born and it was George who bought the town’s first Char-a-banc. Used for furniture delivery and removals, they even started running coach trips, taking locals to the seaside! George’s sons Clifford and Kenneth joined the business and went on to expand the shop from Castle Street to Church Street.
Despite the war years, the business continued to thrive due to their enthusiasm and passion for good quality furniture and excellent service. Martin (Clifford’s son), joined the business in 1979 working with his father and uncle.
In 1991, with his wife Angela, they branched out into modern furniture by opening Furniture & Things (now Angela Reed) in Church Street. With Angela focused on this shop and Martin heading up the secondhand side, both businesses grew quickly. Their son, David returned to the fold in 2011, swapping his life as a coach at Bath Rugby to become the 5th generation in the business.
David and his young family brought new energy into both businesses, re-branding and beginning a new phase of extension and development on both fronts. Whilst the shops are radically different to that which Thomas would have known, it remains very much a family passion and business. We are very proud of our history and hope that you enjoy visiting our shops as much as we enjoy seeing you!