Budgett’s Budget


This magazine was created by some members of staff employed by James Budgett and Son Limited. This company began as a wholesale grocer in 1857 in central London, and became a wholesale tea and coffee company in 1875. In this year, they moved up the road to Eastcheap, while the business for its sugar, rice and fruit was conducted by a new company that remained at their old premises at Monument Yard.

The magazine was intended to be ‘the commercial Edition’ of the popular and hugely influential Punch, and its creators were keen to make clear that it was produced ‘off the firm’s premises’ and not on company time. Its audience was to include the other employees of the company, and the hope was that they might contribute to its numbers: ‘We cordially invite suggestions and shall be glad to receive any items of news or gossip likely to prove of interest to our readers’ (W. Aitch, ‘Editorial’, Budgett’s Budget, No. 1, Vol. I, April 1909, p. 8). The contents of the issues did indeed include such ‘news or gossip’, and also regular features such as: amusing biographies of staff members; cartoons; ‘Chatter’, which consists of in-jokes regarding company employees and policies, and humorous poetry and ‘Proverbs’ on the same; and an editorial column at the back.

The first issue was produced in April 1909, and issues appeared monthly for the following five months. The next issues were created in March and April 1910, between April and June 1914, and the last extant issue appeared in October 1919, for a total of 11 numbers usually consisting of eight pages each. The production of this magazine was subject to the business cycle, at least in the case of the first year of its production, and no magazines were produced when the fruit season ended.

While the first issues were hand-written, starting with the April 1914 issue, the magazine was typescript. Beyond a change in the use of technology, by at least 1919, the readership (and contributors?) included women company and magazine staff members. The contributions in the last extant issue often mention the First World War and the national railway strike, reflecting the personal and commercial impact of these events on staff and the company itself.

Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine

(Company staff at James Budgett and Son Limited) (London)

Date of Existence


Dates of Magazine

Apr.-Sept. 1909, Mar.-Apr. 1910, Apr. and June 1914, Oct. 1919

Number of Issues


Manuscript/Published Magazine

Manuscript and later typescript

Contents and Contributions

Art/Illustrations (original); Biographies of staff; Cartoons; Editorials ; Jokes; Photographs; Poems (original); Prefaces; Tables of Contents; Title pages


London Metropolitan Archives