A TRADITIONAL tailor’s shop which has suited and booted Doncaster people for more than fifty years is set to close its doors for the last time later this year.
Neil Heath, one of the area’s last remaining bespoke tailors, is to close at the end of July after first setting up business in the town in 1957.
For Ian Tyas, who has run the business solo since the mid 1970s, is closing the doors of the Silver Street gentleman’s outfitters following his decision to retire - a move which has come as a shock to his legions of regular customers.
He said: “A lot of people can’t believe we will be going. We’ve got a real niche market and many of our customers have told us they will be sad to see us go and have been left wondering where they will get their clothes from now on. It will be a sad day but times change and move on.”
Ian, 64, joined the company in 1969 and has become so synonymous with the store that customers actually call him Neil - although the moniker actually stems from a previous owner of the shop who ran the business in the 1950s.
“Back in those days, it was purely a tailoring business,” added Ian. “But over the years we’ve developed into selling shoes, hats, ties, shirts and pullovers - we like to cater for something a little bit different. There is nowhere else like us in the area.”
Down the years, Ian has welcomed a string of prominent local business figures, dignitaries and sports stars to the shop and has tailored suits to fit for customers from across the UK and even one man who jets in from New Zealand every three years for fittings.
He prides himself on attention to detail and customer service, greeting clients with a smile, shaking hands and little touches such as holding the door open or helping customers’ on and off with their coats and said: “There aren’t many shops left like this one. There has been a tailor on this site since 1906 so it is the end of a long tradition. All the olde worlde shops are sadly going.
“I have got to know a lot of people down the years. It is a very personalised business and we have regular customers who keep coming back,” added Ian, who lives at Wheatley Hills.
The shop can create a fully bespoke two piece suit for customers in approximately two and a half months with prices ranging from £500 to £2,500.
He added: “I will miss meeting people. Its a big change.”