WE’VE picked up some vinyl from Our Price – we’ve also grabbed a selection of pick ‘n’ mix and stationery from Woolworths, and our latest purchase was a bagful of fashion from C&A. The next stop on our journey along the nostalgic high street is electrical giant Rumbelows.
Advertising – from Rumbelow to Mrs Moore
Television adverts for Rumbelows were frequent and fun – many of the earlier ones featured a middle-aged, well-rounded, balding, moustache-sporting, well-spoken gent called Rumbelow. Rumbelow promised free service for one year, free home trial, free removal of old products, free delivery and a 30 day money back guarantee.
The later ads featured the Don’t pay any more Mrs Moore theme . The music to the Mrs Moore series of ads were quite catchy – country & western and reggae tunes were used to maximise the fun-factor. Adverts featuring singing electrical appliances were fun to watch – hopefully the appliances were only permitted to sing in the ads and not in our homes!
Just to clarify, the ‘don’t pay any more’ statement was not just for Mrs Moore, it was for the whole Moore household, the neighbours, family, friends and everyone else! So no need to worry if your surname is not Moore – you’d still be eligible to enter through the doors of Rumbelows and leave with reasonably priced electrical goods.
The Football connection
Rumbelows took the sponsorship baton from Littlewoods for the football League Cup during the early 90s. This meant their advertising was a three-pronged attack – on the high street, television ads and at football stadiums. During the half-time football break, the discussions between football fans would usually be about missed chances, fantastic goals and poor refereeing. After clocking the Rumbelows logo on numerous advertising boards, maybe they would remember the horrendous noise coming from their washing machine at home and the need to buy a new one …
Rumbelows had strong competition from the likes of Dixons and Comet and the end came in 1995. The world of electrical retail is mind boggling, especially when it came to Rumbelows – the fact that the company never made a profit during it’s twenty-four years existence is incredible. The company, that began as Fred Dawes in the 50s, is now mingling with the likes of Woolworths, Our Price, Comet and Bejam in the spirit beneath the high street concrete. Their display of twin-tub washing machines, video recorders, corded vacuum cleaners and stereo systems are looking a tad dusty. Mrs Moore now spends her time banging away on her keyboard or swiping on her mobile to find the best electrical deals.
Brief nostalgic recollection: I visited Rumbelows store in Wembley in 1988. I asked if they sold one hour video cassettes, they didn’t and I left! The end.
A nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s & 80s are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Get your copy here: