FASHION lovers and history enthusiasts can find out all about the firm which shaped Worcester for more than 100 years at an event.

Coffee and Kays – held at the University of Worcester on Wednesday – will not only be a chance for people to browse through the old catalogues of the former mail order giant, but also to share their memories of the company and get involved with web-based community history project World of Kays.

The project, run by a team from the university, is creating an online resource based around digitalised images from the catalogues and contributions from the public.

The website will explore the impact of Kays of Worcester on shaping the nation’s lifestyle and clothing choices up until the year 2000, as well as the contribution Kays made to city life.

In order to build the most comprehensive resource possible, people are being encouraged to take along their own photographs, clothes and memories of Kays to add to the project between 11am and 5pm in the Peirson Library at the university’s St John’s campus. People can also pop in to enjoy free coffee and biscuits, take part in a quiz, and step back in time with a vintage clothing stall and Atari computer games.

Project manager Jenni Waugh said: “The website will be a fantastic resource for community historians and fashion enthusiasts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make the history of Kays more available.”

For more information, contact Ms Waugh at

Until the website is launched this month, people can also find out more at or by following @WorldofKays on Twitter.