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Items from Influential Worcester Company to Go on Display at The Hive

Members of the public will be able to explore the history behind one of Worcestershire’s most influential companies at an event at The Hive this Saturday.

The University of Worcester Research Collections will be displaying archive material charting the history of Kays and Co. Ltd, the business that rose to become a pioneer of mail order shopping and a major Worcester employer throughout the 20th century.

The company closed in 2007, and four years later, the University’s Research Team won funding from JISC to create ‘World of Kays’, a website featuring 1500 digitised images from their catalogues, poetry and audio memories from local residents and former Kays staff and films made by undergraduates from the University’s Digital Media Production degree course.

Saturday’s event, which will take place in Meeting Room 2 at The Hive between 10am and 4pm, is part of the National Archives’ ‘Explore Your Archive’ campaign, and will see archive material made available for the public to view.

The campaign is designed to encourage people to visit archives, with hundreds of local, specialist and national archives across the UK and Ireland holding open days and exhibitions to showcase highlights from their collections.

Alison Winston, of the University of Worcester Research Collections, says: “Kays and Co. were a very influential company in Worcestershire throughout the 20th century, both in terms of the number of local people they employed and the way they represented a shift in attitudes and lifestyle during this time period.

“Our archive is a great resource for showing us how life and consumer behaviour changed between 1890 and 2000, and we would encourage anyone with an interest in changing British lifestyles, fashion, design or Worcester’s local history to come along and have a look at some of the treasures of our collection.”

For more information on the University of Worcester Research Collections, visit or contact