Huntingdon shop to close after 100 years

IN 1960 John F Kennedy announced that he would stand for president of the United States, Elvis Presley returned to America after two years national service, Penguin Books was cleared of obscenity charges after publishing D H Lawrence s Lady Chatterley s

IN 1960 John F Kennedy announced that he would stand for president of the United States, Elvis Presley returned to America after two years' national service, Penguin Books was cleared of obscenity charges after publishing D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover ....and the Singer Shop in Huntingdon High Street had a new boss.

Patrick Moore (not the star gazer but a star at repairing sewing machines) took over the shop, first as a manager and then from 1980 as its owner.

The shop sells items you do not see everywhere, including stocking suspenders and bra extenders as well as patterns, threads, fabric and trimmings.

But next month the shop will close, ending 100 years of serving the people of Huntingdon and marking the retirement of Mr Moore, just as he reaches 81-years-old.


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Mr Moore's knowledge of sewing machines goes from the treadle (a machine set in an oak table where you generate the power by rocking a small platform under the machine with your foot) to the modern Singers worked by a computer.

He started working for the Singer company in Cambridge in 1954.

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He moved to the city from London after being demobbed from the RAF in 1949 - his parents, sister and three brothers had moved to Cambridge during the war.

"I needed a job and I saw a vacancy and applied for it," he said. "I would probably have retired at 65 if the shop had still been owned by Singer but when you are running your own business, you just carry on."

He and his wife, Evelyn, live in Huntingdon. Their son Peter and daughter-in-law Caroline have just given them their first grandchild, Charlotte.

Mr Moore's assistant for 35 years, Christine Maile, 66, is also retiring from shop work but will continue to work as a seamstress.

She told The Hunts Post: "Not many people have has wished us a happy retirement - most of them have just asked what are they going to do without us.

"One woman gave Patrick a real telling off saying we shouldn't close."

Mrs Maile, whose husband Alvin worked as a motor engineer at RAF Alconbury for 46 years, added: "I only came in to help for a few weeks, but I liked it and Patrick liked me so I stayed on.

"We have enjoyed working there, we have had our happy times and we will miss our customers.

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