History of Heffers of Cambridge



The response to the plea for stories has been fantastic. ‘This book is about Heffers’ by Julie E Bounford is now available via this website, Amazon Marketplace and Heffers.








Collecting and writing about memories of Heffers, a Cambridge institution

The Heffers history project will tell the story of the Heffers bookselling, stationery and printing business, for publication in book form. A central feature of the book will be the memories and reminiscences of those who worked for Heffers in the twentieth century. These will be gathered by Julie Bounford and written up with the help of Rob Webb.

The project is based in part on a fascinating personal collection of photographs, press cuttings and other ‘memorabilia’ of the firm’s activities gathered by the late Winifred Anstee (Julie’s great aunt). This covers staff outings, Heffers family occasions and other key events, dating back to 1913.

Plea for stories from Cambridge residents and former Heffers employees

Julie and Rob are keen to gather stories and images from Cambridge residents, authors, customers and former Heffers employees about working for and shopping at Heffers. Julie can be contacted by email or mobile phone – julie@gottahavebooks.co.uk telephone 0776611 4813.

Heffers Trinity St move 1970

Heffers Trinity St move 1970

Researching and recording memories

Julie has begun a series of conversations with Eve Stafford, a family friend who worked for Heffers for fifteen years, about her time at the firm. She will be writing these up over the coming months. The conversations cover topics such as the shop premises, the staff outings and the special occasions. Julie is planning to combine Eve’s recollections with Winifred’s materials, to form a collection of memories for publication. She is also  talking with other family friends, former employees, authors and customers about their memories of Heffers over the years.

Both Julie’s and Rob’s families have had a long association with Heffers. Julie’s great-grandfather, Frederick Anstee, worked for the company for forty-seven years (starting at the age of thirteen). On his death in 1944, E. W. Heffer wrote an obituary in The Bookseller trade journal. Her great aunt, Winifred Anstee, her grandmother, Lillian Saunders (nee Anstee) and her mother’s cousin, Bryan Anstee, also worked for the firm (as a secretary, shop assistant and printer, respectively).

Rob’s grandfather and father worked for the company during the 1910s and 1940s-70s, respectively. Rob also worked at Heffers during the 1970s.

Julie has fond memories of frequenting the Heffers Children’s Bookshop in the 1960s and ‘70s, and published a blog post, which featured her recollections. Every week she would spend her pocket money on a paperback. The post can be found here:


Julie Bounford

Rob Webb

February 2016