Shoe shop to shut its doors af­ter 140 years

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - By GAVIN JONES

JOHN Jones Footwear as been in Cradley Heath’s Up­per High Street since founded by the Jones fam­ily way back in 1877.

If you ask any­one in and around the town, Jones’s was known for its qual­ity and ser­vice.

The shop has sur­vived wars, re­ces­sions, Merry Hill, a huge su­per­mar­ket open­ing al­most op­po­site, and a road widen­ing scheme. But like many other well known high street names it has suc­cumbed to the dif­fi­cult times caused by re­cent changes in re­tail, and Jones’s are fi­nally set to close, af­ter more than 140 years.

As pro­pri­etor Pam Per­rins told the Bu­gle:

“Shop­ping is no longer an ex­pe­ri­ence where you are treated like an in­di­vid­ual, with in­di­vid­ual needs, where you can pass the time of day with staff. Shop­ping on the in­ter­net will never give you that.

Friends

“Dur­ing the thirty years that I’ve had the shop, lots of cus­tomers have be­come friends. We’ve laughed and cried to­gether and best of all shared their mem­o­ries about the shop. The old bri­gadier who sat in his chair wear­ing his smok­ing jacket and hat; Mary who would fetch you nu­mer­ous shoes to try on, you may even re­mem­ber hav­ing your feet put into the pe­do­scope or buy­ing your first pair of Star­trite school shoes, or in re­cent years shoes for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

“John Jones has a won­der­ful his­tory and it will be a sad day when the door closes for the last time.”

Over the past three decades Pam has em­ployed full time and part time staff, but for the past twenty years Sue has been her right hand, and for fif­teen years Kim has been her left.

“We have be­come a fam­ily,” said Pam. “Sis­ters in arms and true friends. The de­ci­sion to close the shop was not an easy one to make but af­ter three years of gru­elling trad­ing con­di­tions, it was im­pos­si­ble to carry on.”

Owner Pam Per­rins in the cen­tre, with Sue May­bury on the left, and Kim Hill on the right

has the old A piece of his­tory ... John Jones’s still ‘Pe­do­scope’ foot mea­surer

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