‘End of an era’ as independent Framlingham store to close after 100 years
- Credit: Su Anderson
An independent and much loved store in an east Suffolk market town is to close its doors for the final time this spring, 100 years after it first began trading.
Glynis Buckles has worked at Framlingham shoe shop John Self since leaving school in 1966, and 30 years ago took over the running from Mr Self’s daughter, Brenda Self. However, in the coming weeks Mrs Buckles will hang up her boots and retire, with a stock clearance sale already underway at the store.
Speaking to the EADT on Monday, Mrs Buckles said that taking retirement had been a difficult decision to make.
“I’ve dedicated my whole life to the shop,” she said. “I loved it from the day I started working here.
“When Miss Self retired she wanted me to have the shop and I said I couldn’t do that, but her accountant rang me. The advice I was given was that the Self family had made a good living and if I kept it the same I would also. That was the best advice I have ever been given. We have never gone a day without selling shoes.
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“Sadly, I have decided to retire. It will be an end of an era. My husband died when he was 45 so this has been my life.
“Miss Self was delighted that I chose to carry on with the name of John Self, and in 50 years it has changed very little.
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“I have had absolutely wonderful support from our loyal customers. The customers are fantastic.
“I had a lady in this morning who said ‘what are we going to do for shoes now?’ Our shop is bread and butter stuff. It’s not fashion, we serve a lot of elderly people and I think they are all very upset.”
Jenny Stockman, Framlingham resident and a member of Framlingham Business Association, said: “I am gutted that our last shoe shop is closing.
“I was born in Framlingham and always had my school shoes from there, as did my kids up until now.
“Regardless of what was in the window, I knew that if I needed good shoes for a particular purpose, Glynis’s personal attention would always route out something from the shelves that did the job admirably.
“I will personally miss the temptation of wandering in and hope that whatever replaces it is still a shop and maintains the diversity of independent retailing in the town. I’m sure it won’t be empty for long.”
Mrs Buckles intends to keep ownership of the unit and lease it to a new occupier, rather than selling the business itself, following advice from her accountant.
“He said ‘that shop is you, Glynis, it’s unique and nobody would keep it the same’,” said Mrs Buckles. “We decided five years ago that when I do retire that I would empty it.
“I have dedicated 50 years to Framlingham and selling shoes and it is very difficult [to retire], but the time has come.”
A final day of trading has not yet been confirmed, dependant on the sale of existing stock, however Mrs Buckles has said she anticipates it to be in around three to four weeks.