History

Usually in business we like to look forward – and as a company we pride ourselves on just that – but on occasion, it’s reassuring to look back.

1869

Our story begins back in 1869 in a small black and white grocery shop in Frankwell, Shrewsbury where an industrious James Kent Morris was to set up his candle business with a robust service philosophy which has stood the test of time: “To do the common thing uncommonly well brings success”.

And it did. Over the years the company developed many trading operations which it helped flourish and on which it capitalised as markets matured, with the family remaining central to the growth and success of each business.

Take a look at our timeline to find out more about our five generations of evolution:

Our Story

1869
1869

James Kent Morris sets up his modest grocery enterprise in Frankwell in Shrewsbury

1869
1869

Sarah Morris, first wife of James Kent Morris

1869
1869

Opening of the first grocery shop in Frankwell, Shrewsbury

1872
1872

The Frankwell shop was extended to incorporate the new Steam Candle Works

1900
1900

Morris store and staff pictured at its Wyle Cop store in Shrewsbury

1907
1907

Fanny Morris, daughter of J. K. Morris and Mr E. Paterson on their wedding day

1911
1911

Deliveries made by horse drawn cart to the Morris Bakery at 19 Frankwell in Shrewsbury

1911
1911

James Kent Morris second son of James Kent Morris develops the company’s oil business

1913
1913

Proud staff photographed outside the celebrated Morris Café on Pride Hill

1920
1920

J. K Morris purchased 1,000,000 gallons of surplus oil from the government, building the oil business

1920
1920

Morris outdoor catering at Shrewsbury Floral Fete, later to become Shrewsbury Flower Show

1922
1922

The impressive new Morris & Company headquarters is completed in 1922

1927
1927

The Morris brothers ‘grand plan’ at 24-26 Pride Hill for the 73ft new store

1931
1931

Cliff Morris marries Evelyn Morris, descendant of Henry Morris, James Kent Morris’s son

1934
1934

Cliff Morris, father to Bill Morris (Chairman 1984-2009)

1940s
1940s

The Morris Home Guard as photographed in 1944 a year before the war ended

1943
1943

The Grocery Licence during the war years issued for the Cafe at 25 Pride Hill

1950s
1950s

An example of the autumn collection Wetherall brand advertising in Shropshire Magazine

1955
1955

Morris’ lingerie shop on Pride Hill fared well throughout the ‘50s

1960
1960

Baking loaves at the new Horsefair bakery in Shrewsbury

1962
1962

Green shield stamps increased business as the flagship Pride Hill store was converted to self service

1963
1963

A liveried van delivery to the busy Pride Hill store

1968
1968

The Company launches its new SaveRite supermarket brand

1969
1969

The Board including Peter Morris, J.K. Morris’ son (2nd left) and Cliff Morris (2nd right)

1969
1969

Morris & Company staff enjoy a Centenary Dinner at the Morris Café on Pride Hill

1972
1972

Staff at work on the new bacon production line at Wellington SaveRite

1979
1979

An example of Morris Lubricants’ colourful advertising of the day

1989
1989

Morris Care launched with the first brick laid at Radbrook Nursing Home

1990
1990

Chairman, Bill Morris photographed with his trusty springer spaniels

1991
1991

The acquisition of Stanmore Hall in Bridgnorth heralds a new Leisure Division

1994
1994

Three generations: Bill’s son Robin who is a Chartered Surveyor joins the family business

1996
1996

Robin Morris leads the vision for Victoria Quay with conversion of The Armoury into pub/restaurant

1999
1999

The Company joins Mr Cliff to celebrate his 100th birthday with champagne and cake at Welsh Bridge

2000
2000

Food division sold to Midcounties Co-operative marking the end of 130 years food retailing

2000
2000

Cliff Morris receiving his Legion d’honneur at the age of 101

2000
2000

Morris and Company Millennium project – building a pontoon for the River Severn

2001
2001

Chris Morris, second son of Bill, joins the Company as Marketing Manager

2004
2004

Lubricants & Leisure Divisions now under sole ownership of Paterson Enterprises Limited

2006
2006

Morris Site Machinery was founded with the acquisition of ArcGen Limited

2007
2007

Morris Care grows with the acquisition of Stretton Hall in All Stretton, Shropshire

2008
2008

ArcGen acquires Hilta Pumps to become ArcGen Hilta Limited

2008
2008

Morris & Company acquires the Marrington Estate in Chirbury, South Shropshire

2009
2009

Celebrating Bill Morris’s 50 years with the company and 25 years as Chairman

2010
2010

ArcGen Hilta acquires Sandhurst Manufacturing Company

2012
2012

Chris Morris becomes Chief Executive of Morris Site Machinery

2014
2014

Morris Joinery workshop, part of Property, branches out to private clients

2016
2016

Robin Morris appointed 2016 President of Shrewsbury Horticultural Society

2017
2017

The Company’s record international sales are recognised in The Sunday Times Awards

2018
2018

Morris Property completes the final phase at its leading trade park, Vanguard

2018
2018

Angela Rippon opens Ercall Court, Morris Care’s Specialist Dementia Home in Wellington

2019
2019

Morris and Company celebrate its 150th anniversary of trading

2019
2019

Robin presents Bill with a silver salver to commemorate his father’s 60th anniversary with the Company

2019
2019

The Company celebrates its top 150 ‘stars’ in the celebratory staff awards

2019
2019

Summer celebrations at Shrewsbury Flower Show with guest of honour, Mariella Frostrup

2020
2020

Morris Care’s live broadcast for the launch of the new Garden Suite at Radbrook Nursing Home

2020
2020

Morris Property completes phase 2 of construction at The Tannery site in Shrewsbury

2020
2020

£3.5 million redevelopment of Morris Property’s Centurion Park completed

2021
2021

Morris Property construction team complete flagship i54 building adjacent to the M54 motorway

2021
2021

New holiday rental business Marrington Escapes launches

2022
2022

Morris Site Machinery was sold to long standing customer, John F Hunt Group

2022
2022

BBC TV broadcasts live from Morris Care’s Isle Court with Anton Du Beke celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee

2023
2023

The Morris Care operation was successfully transferred to Welford Healthcare along with 560 care staff

2023
2023

Morris Property partners with STFC as the new front of shirt sponsors for the 2023 and 24 seasons

2023
2023

Stadium Point site at Oteley Road in Shrewsbury awaits planning