Business makes it to 100

A WESTON business that has survived two world wars will celebrate its centenary this spring.

Cecil Walker in Post Office Road opened in 1911, survived through the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s and grew with the times.

It started off as a shirt makers and silk tie business, with women busily working away at their sewing machines in the shop.

The outlet then became a hatters and a tailors.

Cecil Walker ran the business, before his son Pat joined several decades later and then grandson Tim stepped onboard to help with the chain of shops in the South West 36 years ago.

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Tim, aged 52, said: “There were many tailors in 1911, but not many quality shirt makers.

“Mr grandfather Cecil went to London to learn the skill and brought it back to Weston.

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“When my grandfather went to war the wives and sisters in the family ran the shop, but even through the world wars it still carried on, as quality sells.

“After World War II my father Pat joined the business and he could see the change coming, so in the early 1960s the business changed to a gentlemen’s outfitters – he could see the potential in high fashion.”

At that time the family opened James For Men in Waterloo Street and James For Younger Men in High Street, Weston.

Tim originally helped with those, but says he always wanted to run Cecil Walker.

He added: “We believe that quality will always live and we don’t take anything for granted.

“We have catered for men for 100 years, but in the past two years we have been researching the future.

“To celebrate our centenary we have decided to move into women’s fashion alongside the menswear, from September.”

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