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End of an era at store

North Shropshire | News | Published:

One hundred years of clothes retailing in Shropshire will come to an end this month, it has been revealed.

McClures has been a familiar name in Shrewsbury's High Street for many decades. Pictures: Rose Pearce.One hundred years of clothes retailing in Shropshire will come to an end this month, it has been revealed.

Bosses of McClures in High Street, Shrewsbury, decided to close the business after the deaths of Ken McClure, who had run the business for 60 years, and his son Tim, who was due to take over.

Check out our photo gallery above.

Jonathan, Ken's other son, said the decision had been taken to close the business following the deaths as there was nobody able to keep it going.

The store, which sells ladies fashions, first opened in Wellington in 1908 with the Shrewsbury store opening some years after that.

The Wellington store closed about 25 years ago, while other branches in Market Drayton and Oswestry have also since shut.

The Shrewsbury shop remained, but when it closes on February 29 it will bring to an end the proud century-long history of the business.

Jonathan, who works in London, said there were currently seven members of staff who were being helped through the process of closing the store, although many were coming up to retirement.

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He said: "I am very sad to close, but on the other hand I also want to close the business with dignity.

"My father died in September 2006, and when my brother died in April last year I knew the 100th anniversary was this year.

"Because of the nature of the business, we had a lot of stock so I was able to keep it going. I was determined for my brother and father to reach the milestone.

"The family would like to thank our customers for their support."

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The firm was founded by Samuel McClure, Jonathan's great-grandfather, who came over from Northern Ireland, working his way up to managing director of a department store in Birkenhead before deciding to start his own business.

Ken took over the business in the early 1950s, running it with his wife Jacqueline, who is now in her 80s.

Jonathan said: "It's employed generations of people in the town and the staff we have got now are almost like family.

"We have a member of staff who has been here for nearly 30 years, and one who has been here for 44 years."

  • Have you been a McClures customer or employee? What memories do you have of the company's stores? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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McClures has been a familiar name in Shrewsbury's High Street for many decades. Pictures: Rose Pearce.

McClures staff: Rose Bradshaw, Pamela Downes, Grace Leddington and Shirley Meyrick.

McClures in Wellington in the 1970s.

Rose and Grace with a customer.

Pamela Downes by the hat stand.

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The sale sign is up for the last time.

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How it used to be.

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