Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 21, 2019
Webpage updated: September 21, 2019




The Plymouth business house of Messrs S A Wightman Limited was located at 61 Old Town Street before the Second World War and at 34 Old Town Street and 7 Market Avenue thereafter.

Stephen Arthur Wightman was born in Islington, London, in 1888.  His father, Mr Arthur Wightman, was a boot maker at 90 Hampden Road, Islington.  Both he and his wife, Eliza, came from Suffolk.  When Stephen was born he already had two older sisters and two older brothers.

Mr Stephen Arthur Wightman married Miss Lily A Murray in 1912 in the West Riding of Yorkshire and their only child, a daughter, was born there in October 1912.

Mr Stephen Arthur Wightman FNAO FBOA FIO came to Plymouth in 1929 and opened a business as an optician.

His daughter, Miss Elvey Lily A Wightman, married Mr Ronald W Lee in Plymouth in 2q1936 and they had a son, Mr Colin Arthur J Lee, on June 16th 1938.

The premises were damaged during the Second World War but the equipment was saved and business was resumed in August 1941 at 35 Old Town Street, above the Messrs Nicholas K Boot Shop.

In 1953 it was at 34 Old Town Street, on the corner with Saltash Street, along with Messrs Doctor Scholl's Foot Comfort Service.

In 1954 his grandson, Mr Colin Arthur John Lee, joined the business and opened a retail photographic department and later a photographic studio.

When Mr Lee took over as managing director in 1963, the business was transferred to 7 Market Avenue, facing up New George Street.

Mr Stephen Arthur Wightman died on Tuesday May 12th 1964 at his home, 3 Culme Road, Mannamead, Plymouth.  He was survived by his widow and one daughter.

Mr Colin Arthur John Lee died in Plymouth on June 28th 1995.  He was survived by his mother, who died in October 2000; his widow, Diana, and two daughters, Belinda and Selena.

It is not known exactly when the business ceased trading but it is thought to have been before Mr Lee died and that it was brought about by high rents and decreasing turnover.