Doors to close af­ter 90 sparkling years in city

Charles Bright the Jewellers to hold huge clos­ing down sale

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Telegraph - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

A jewel in Pe­ter­bor­ough’s shop­ping crown is set to close for the fi­nal time af­ter be­ing a fix­ture in the city cen­tre for 90 years. Charles Bright the Jewellers will shut once a huge clos­ing down sale has fin­ished and all the stock has been sold.

The in­de­pen­dent shop, lo­cated in St John’s Square, has been sup­ply­ing en­gage­ment rings, neck­laces and bracelets to city res­i­dents since the 1920s.

Roger Aron (72) who has ownedthe­store­with­busi­ness part­ner Kevin Roberts since 1990, felt it wastime­tore­tire.

Roger said: “It has been a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to close the shop.

“It is im­por­tant there are as many in­de­pen­dent shops in Peter­bor­oughas­pos­si­ble. So many towns all look the same. We are proud we have been­able to main­tain that po­si­tion here.

“The way peo­ple have shopped has changed a lot in re­cent years, es­pe­cially with younger peo­ple, but peo­ple have al­ways come and found us.”

The Ex­change Street shop was orig­i­nally opened by CharlesHen­ryErnestBright, a rep­utable jew­eller and­watch­maker, in the early 1920s. He took over the small 9ft-wide shop to run the jew­ellery and watch shop.

The­busi­ness­wasac­quired from Charles’ wi­dow by Bob Wood in 1958. In 1970 Bob ex­panded into the ad­join­ing premises, the for­mer Pe­ter­bor­ough Leather Com­pany shop, and part of Kirby’s hair­dressers, and fit­ted out the shop much as you see it to­day.

When the Queens­gate Cen­tre was be­ing built, Bob Wood suc­cess­fully fought off aCom­pul­so­ryPur­chaseOrder - deeme­dun­jus­ti­fied- an­dran the busi­ness with the help of his wife Mar­garet un­til 1990.

Roger said: “A lot of peo­ple look to us for an im­por­tant ser­vice - fam­i­lies have bought heir­looms fro­mus­for gen­er­a­tions.

“It was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to re­tire, but I’m 72 now. A lot of my friends have re­tired, ad have been ask­ing when I am go­ing to stop.

“Now seems the right time to call it a day. We did look into sell­ing the busi­ness, but it is not a good time to be do­ing that. Our lease is up, so it is time to call it a day.

“We will close on Saturday (Oc­to­ber 1) for a week, and then re-open on Saturday, Oc­to­ber 8. We will be hav­ing a big sale, with ev­ery­thing 50 per cent off.

“We wanted to give some­thing back to Pe­ter­bor­ough peo­ple.

“We will be open un­til all the stock has gone.I think we will be very busy - yes­ter­day we­hada­cus­tomerintheshop for half an hour talk­ing, but I don’t know how long we will be able to spend with the cus­tomers.

“I don’t knowwhatIwilldo whenIre­tire-I haven’t got any plans. It is go­ing to be strange not com­ing in to work - I have worked­con­tin­u­ous­ly­for­more than 50 years.”

Roger Aron ‘We wanted to give some­thing back to Pe­ter­bor­ough’

The shop in Ex­change Stree t in 1971

Charles Bright through the ages

Roger at Charles Bright

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