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Cheltenham shop The Famous moving on after 126 years

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 02, 2012

  • HOME: The Famous of Cheltenham

  • TRADITIONAL SIGHTS: Gary Hambling, managing director of The Famous, behind the counter while sales assistant Tony Whitehurst shows off the traditional money tubes

  • The Famous of Cheltenham is planning to leave its home of 126 years (check) to a bigger premises. The old Lamson tubes still operational in the shop, pictured with sales assistant Tony Whitehurst. picture by Mikal Ludlow news 30-3-12

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ONE of Cheltenham's most iconic shops has announced plans to move home after 126 years.

Bosses of clothing retailer The Famous of Cheltenham said they have outgrown their High Street premises and need to find a new store elsewhere.

But they insisted the shop will remain in the town centre, although it has not yet found a new premises for the move, which is expected to happen in early 2013.

The current shop is on three levels and becomes easily clogged up at busy times, so the firm wants to find a place for people to peruse the aisles "more enjoyably".

But its renowned suction system for taking money from the tills to the safe may not be survive the move.

Spokesman Roger Tovell said: "We are looking for town centre premises and it would be nice to think that the money system would be kept, but one of the reasons for it is because of the levels of the floors."

The business, which sells menswear, schoolwear and formal clothing for hire, wants to take up a new open plan shop of about 3,000 sq ft.

Company chairman, Ross Cole, whose grandfather bought the business in 1896, said: "Our High Street home for 126 years is a huge part of The Famous story.

"But the business has always evolved and will continue to thrive in a new home.

"The online business continues to grow, but we are very keen to continue to have a shop in Cheltenham because many parents and boys and girls prefer to come to The Famous to be kitted out for their first uniform."

The company also operates 14 other shops based in schools across the South West.

Cheltenham town centre manager Martin Quantock said he was pleased the shop would be staying in town.

Mr Quantock added: "As I understand it, it is Cheltenham's oldest shop and one I always take visitors to see because you can't get much more iconic."

Cheltenham grandmother, Joan Wilkes, who has taken two generations of her family there for school uniforms, said: "The Famous is a real Cheltenham institution and I'm glad it'll be here for years to come."

Among the services offered by the shop is military medal mounting, reproductions of school colours and name tapes in a range of styles.

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  April 02 2012, 9:22PM

    Hmm, must get get a reproduction school tie made. Marling house, Lydney Grammar

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  • MartinSurl  |  April 02 2012, 7:12PM

    Three cheers for The Famous! I remember getting fitted for my uniform for Dunally Primary in about 196? Lot's of lesson here for the police about what people really value. Martin Surl. Candidate for Gloucestershire Police Commissioner and Gloucestershire resident for generations. http://tinyurl.com/77zau5t

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