The business began its life in 1923 at 108 Arundel Street, after three or four years it moved to 70-72, it was started by William George Searle, who was the youngest son of Alfred George Searle of Searle’s Printers at 58 Arundel Street. There were sliding shutters on the windows and separate entrances to both 70 and 72, both having narrow double doors . There were wooden tills that had a roll of paper in and with a pencil the amount was written on the paper and the drawer pulled open to deposit the cash.
Many items were made on the premises – party hats of many shapes and sizes, rosettes, crepe festoons and fancy dress outfits were made locally. Items for sale were similar to today, jokes and tricks, blowouts, streamers, balloons, stage make-up, flags and bunting etc. A catalogue was produced each year listing goods for sale, it has always been pink, making it different from other companies and always known as the pink list by staff and customers alike . Each year the pink list was sent out to thousands of customers all over the country, as it still is today.
The name used to be written as UNEEDUS but about the time of Second World War a customer was heard to say “that it sounded foreign” William George Searle straight away changed it slightly to how we know it today U-NEED-US to make quite clear that we were British. A Union flag was always flown outside of the shop along with a bunch of balloons.
Around 1960 when Arundel Street was widened we moved to our present building which was purpose built at no. 30, we are very much a traditional company and are now into the fourth generation of family working at U-NEED-US.
To bring the best range of products that will help create a perfect environment for partying or playing games
What we stock
- Fancy Dress
- Party essentials
- Face Paints
- Stag & Hen products
- Novelty items
- Jokes & Tricks