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Channel 4’s Hit ‘Posh Pawn’ Shop To Open In The High Street

Published on: 29 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 31 Jan, 2021

By Hugh Coakley and David Rose

Prestige Pawnbrokers, featured in the Channel 4 documentary Posh Pawn, is setting up shop in Guildford High Street, close to the George Abbot statue and Holy Trinity Church and a short walk from the Royal Grammar School.

Guildford’s famous son, Archbishop George Abbot, looking onto the new shop in town.

The pawnbroker symbols of three spheres suspended from a bar was often seen as a last resort. A visit to a pawn shop to bring in short-term cash was portrayed as bringing shame on a feckless family down on their luck.

Pawnbroker’s sign – Image Wikipedia

But the TV documentary series Posh Pawn shone a different light on the pawnbroking industry. Featuring Prestige Pawnbrokers, the show saw the glamorous and famous using their possessions to raise money by pawning “helicopters to Lamborghinis, mini-submarines and Hermes handbags”.

A spokesperson for Prestige Pawn said it plans to open at 166 Guildford High Street in March. She said: “We have acquired a landmark building and have transformed it into something special yet unseen in the industry so far.

New pawnbrokers, Posh Pawn, setting up in the town centre.

“It will be complete with an industrial feel, exposed brickwork and oak beams along with a pop art mural wall with a hint of bling to add another dimension.

“Guildford is a prefect site for our brand and early indications show there is high demand for what we are about to offer. We anticipate strong growth during the second half of this year as restrictions lift and the Covid threat eases.

“We also offer an online service so are currently servicing any borrowing requirements and also have an online store shipping luxury items around the UK.”

David Rose adds: Using the former Kelly’s directories of Guildford, you have to go back to its 1965-66 edition to find a pawnbroker listed as trading in Guildford. It being H. J. Tuson & Sons Ltd, at 17 Friary Street.

The 1961 edition lists Tuson & Sons in Friary Street and also Walter Joseph at 2 Epsom Road.

Going further back to the 1955 Kelly’s Directory of Guildford and Godalming, the same two pawnbrokers are listed, while Tuson & Sons had a branch at 3 Wharf Street in Godalming.

The listing in 1955 for Walter Joseph gives an address of 203 High Street, Guildford, Tel: 4359, and adding the business had been established over 70 and also traded as a jeweller’s.

In terms of more modern history, Guildford is regarded as being an affluent town. However, I come from a working-class family and we were certainly not wealthy when I was a child, but thankfully we were not in poverty.

My parents would speak about them growing up in the late 1920s and the morbid fear people had having to go into the workhouse if poverty befell them. They also said that families who had to pawn items were seen to be very much down on their luck and on the bread line.

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Responses to Channel 4’s Hit ‘Posh Pawn’ Shop To Open In The High Street

  1. Gina Gasson Reply

    January 30, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Even Archbishop George Abbot appears to give his approval.

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