Lennon Limited – Bulawayo

Lennon Limited


The first commercial pharmacy in Bulawayo was B. G. Lennon and Co. which started in 1894. It was first managed by Mr. C. F. Conrath, and later by Mr. Charles Cattel in 1895.


During that time, the premises were at the corner of Fife Street and Sixth Avenue. The firm was joined in 1897 by Mr. W. J. Brickle, who later became manager after Mr. Cattel left for England in 1900. The name was changed to Lennon Limited in 1899 and new premises were acquired in Selborne Avenue in 1902.

Lennon’s, as part of their business, promoted the sale of photographic goods for their customers. Their Bulawayo shop, in an advertisement c.1895-1896, stated “They have also a Dark Room for use of customers” in addition to supply of photographic goods.

In a 1930 advertisement they were “doing photography” and in 1937 their Photographic Department in Bulawayo was managed by Edward Roper Yerbury.

Yerbury was a trained photographer from Edinburgh and secretary of the Rhodesia Photographic Society when it staged its exhibition in Bulawayo in July, 1939. He tragically died in a motorcycle incident in Bulawayo in June, 1940.

However, by 1953, in their advertisement in “The City of Bulawayo Official Guide” they made no reference to photographic goods or to photography. It would appear the Abercorn Street Chemists shop had closed as their current advertisement only gave the address of 67a, Fife Street, Bulawayo.

The Lennon chain of chemist shops was eventually acquired be a large pharmaceutical group – South African Druggists.


Not much is known about Lennon’s postcard publishing activities but it appears the activity of publishing postcards was a short-lived exercise during the 1930’s.

The postcards are real photographs and of a high quality, and it is reasonable to assume that a staff member of Lennon’s was the photographer. Unfortunately, there is no indication as to the Printer or where they were printed.

Lennon Ltd also produced some post cards of Salisbury.


  • Richard Barnett
  • Geoff Brakspear
  • James Gavin
  • Keith Harrop
  • Malcolm Murphy
  • Andrew Wilkie
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