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Descendant of M&S founder returns to head museum

VISION OF THE PAST: Harrogates Penny Bazaar, one of the pictures held in the M&S archive, situated near Leeds University Business School.

VISION OF THE PAST: Harrogates Penny Bazaar, one of the pictures held in the M&S archive, situated near Leeds University Business School.

A MEMBER of Marks & Spencer’s founding family is returning to the retailer to head its archive and museum.

Sir David Sieff, the last member of the founding Marks family to sit on the board of the high street giant, has been appointed director of the M&S Company Archive, which will be based in Leeds.

Sir David, who stepped down as a non-executive director of M&S in 2001, will be joined on the archive’s board by Dame Stella Rimington, the former director general of MI5.

Sir David is the great-grandson of M&S’s founder Michael Marks, who first opened a market stall in Kirkgate Market, Leeds, in 1884. He was a director with the company from 1972 until 2001.

Sir David will also be joined on the board of the archive by Steve Rowe, the group’s director of retail, and Alison Houston, M&S’s head of performance.

Graham Oakley, M&S’s former company secretary, will be chairman of the board.

An M&S spokeswoman said the archive board would have no involvement in running the retailer.

In 2009, to coincide with its 125th birthday exhibition, the retailer revealed plans to move its entire archive to Leeds from London.

At the time it also opened its temporary Marks in Time exhibition in the University of Leeds’ Centenary Gallery.

The new purpose-built archive, which is due to open in November, will be named the Michael Marks building after the company’s founder, and will also feature a university bookstore.

It will be situated on the Western Campus, near the Leeds University Business School, and will house more than 60,000 artefacts.

These will include clothing, toys, books, homeware and food packaging.

It will offers an insight into the company’s corporate history with an extensive collection of internal and external company documents, reports, letters and advertisements.

 
 
 

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