It is 1968. Coronation Street is in its prime and Elsie Tanner is pretty much a household name. Seemingly on the other side of the world from those well-known Manchester cobbles, the indomitable barmaid herself is just about to declare The Furniture Centre’s newest showroom well and truly ‘open’.
Crowds line the streets to catch a glimpse of the soap-opera star and mounted police patrol the area. It’s a big day for all involved, not least for the Tempest family, whose family-owned furniture empire is really beginning to take shape…
You may not know it, but the Tempest family did not originally begin life as furniture retailers. Company founder Norman Tempest and his son Robert were, in fact, well known throughout Morley as Chartered Surveyors and Auctioneers. It was this experience that led to a degree of familiarity with the furniture industry and encouraged them to open their first store in 1961, putting their wealth of experience to great use. Fast forward to 1968 and the appearance of good, old Elsie Tanner; the Tempests have opened two furniture retail outlets.
The opening of the newest showroom in 1968 was a milestone. Norman Tempest designed the format himself and also put in much of the hard labour, ensuring that his vision took the shape he desired. His concept resulted in a space comparable with many much larger city stores of that time, a matter of great pride for Norman and his son.
Moving towards the present day, The Furniture Centre continues to thrive and to move with the ever-changing times. The Morley showroom offers an increasing variety of furniture: sofas and suites; occasional furniture; dining room furniture; beds and bedroom pieces. Styles available encompass all possible tastes, from the classic to the contemporary. The showroom continues to focus on an underlying attention to detail, also offering an impressive selection of accessories and soft furnishings.
Should you visit The Furniture Centre today, in all likelihood you will be dealt with by Richard Tempest, son of Robert Tempest and grandson of Norman Tempest. Today Richard manages the store and Andrew Tempest ensures the products are safely delivered and installed in your home! The same focus on customer service that has marked the firm out from the crowd for 50 years, still holds true today. The Tempests strive to provide furniture that is representative of true quality whilst at the same time being affordable and, wherever possible, look to buy British.
Whether you are one of the many Yorkshire residents who chooses to return to The Furniture Centre time and again, or whether you are a new face looking for quality and customer service with a price tag that won’t make your eyes water, be sure of a warm welcome from all at The Furniture Centre!
The Tempests and their knowledgeable sales staff look forward to seeing you very soon…
Early store frontage circa 1960
Large crowd awaiting store opening
Pat Pheonix (Elsie Tanner) visits the store
Bustling crowd waiting for the doors to open