Final days for iconic store The Famous
There have been many famous names associated with Cheltenham over the years, but few that have lasted for 126 years.
But now, even menswear shop The Famous, on the genteel spa town's High Street is to close after its lease came to an end.
While it has found another spot from which to continue selling its schoolwear, it is the end of the line for gentlemen's fashion.
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Chairman Ross Cole, who has worked at the shop for more than 50 years, said there was nowhere in the town which he felt could replicate the feel of the menswear store.
The great grandson of AN Cole, who bought the business in 1896, said: "This has been in the offing for the last two years and we knew we had reached the point where we had to make a decision either way.
"The business is still going well but we decided, after discussing among ourselves, that we simply couldn't replicate what we have here in a modern shop premises. It's a very sad day and I have already had umpteen letters and phone calls from customers which just brings tears to my eyes. We are very grateful for the tremendous support and loyalty we have received from our customers over so many years."
The Famous opened its doors at the present site in the same year as Coca Cola was launched and both Cheltenham Town and Arsenal football clubs were founded.
The year was 1886 – trousers were 13 shillings (65p), an off the peg suit 30 shillings (£1.50), an overcoat was the same price and a top quality shirt was 4/11 – equivalent to 24p today.
The store will hold a closing down sale from November 1 until the new year.
Schoolwear, which makes up half of the current store's stock, will continue to be sold elsewhere, although Mr Cole could not be drawn on its exact location, or whether or not it will still be in Cheltenham.
He confirmed seven of the 24 staff would be moving to new premises.
The iconic store is one of the last in the country to operate a Lamson vacuum system to send money to a cashier's office. The system was installed in the 1950s and is expected to find a new home in a museum.
Martin Quantock, Cheltenham's town centre manager, said: "The Famous menswear store is something of a landmark and there are not many people who went to school in Cheltenham who have not worn school uniform from there."