Founded by Les Johnson and Ted Carnell in 1937, the Science-Fiction Service was the first SF book-selling business in Britain, though the name they used for business purposes was that of Johnson's brother. Its pre-war existence is covered here.
I've recently taken possession of a bunch of post-war catalogues, courtesy of Steve Holland. The earliest of these - front page below - is dated February 1947. It may in fact be the first post-war catalogue:
The crunch came when the main newsstand distributors returned the 'unsolds' to us. They were all still in the original wrappers, and it was obvious that they had never got outside their warehouse, much less than on to the railway bookstalls! It is all very well talking about "newsstand distribution", but try and get it...
As pre-war, Johnson didn't use his own name on the business. This time he used his wife's maiden name: Hilda Margaret Crossen.
By May 1947 all mention of 'Outlands' has vanished from the now-printed header:
Between that catalogue and the first of 1950, 'A.L. Milnes' joins as a co-proprietor. This was Frank Milnes, using the initials of his mother, Annie Louisa Milnes:
Eventually, the pair decide to rename the business, which they announced in the third catalogue of 1951. Where previous catalogues had been quarto-sized and produced on a duplicator, this one (like several that followed it) was 4 ⅞" x 6 ⅜" and printed:
Nice shout out to NWSFC there. From this point on the business was known as 'Milcross Book Service' (from Milnes and Crossen), with a shop at 205 Brownlow Hill. This change was formalised in the next catalogue:
Just as he had with the pre-war Liverpool SFA, Johnson let the newly formed Liverpool SF Society (LaSFaS) hold it's early meetings in his shop. As member Tom Owens later recorded:
On Monday the 12th November 1951, we, the Liverpool Science-Fiction Society held our first meeting at the rear of the Milcross Book Shop. At that time we were not grouped under any name, but were just a number of fans who had met as a result of a Post Card sent to, each of us by Jeff Espley, the founder of the Society.
The final Milcross catalogue I have is dated 1954, by which point both the Brownlow Hill shop and Frank Milnes are gone (they were still there in 1953) and Johnson has returned to trading from 68 Victoria Street:
At some point during that decade the business reverted to being mostly postal and operated from a small downstairs room at the 16 Rockville Road address seen in early catalogues. This was the Johnson family home (now opposite the start of the M62 motorway) and Ramsey Campbell recalls visiting the house and buying books from Johnson as late as 1961, so it continued for a while in that form.