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M&S Penny Bazaars
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Marks' Penny Bazaar Painting / Laura Cowburn Photo

The image on the left is a detail from the artist Van Jones' 1955 painting of the Marks' Penny Bazaar, and on the right is the photo of Laura Cowburn, a young sales assistant at the Manchester Penny Bazaar in 1898 who had joined the business in 1895 as the fourth sales assistant! Lord Marks (Simon) described her as 'one of the prettiest girls I ever saw' at a celebration of her contribution to the company in 1959. Laura was 78 year old at the time, and was honoured as 'the oldest human link in the business of Marks & Spencer' © M&S Company Archive