Worksop: 60th anniversary of town centre business

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A Worksop shoe store is to set celebrate its 60th year of business next week.

Wards Shoe Shop opened up in 1954 by a man called Eric Ward.

Originally located on Watson Road, it is now based in the Priory Centre, where it has been since 1985.

From Monday 26th May to Saturday 31st May, customers who visit the family business and try on a pair of shoes will be entered into a prize draw to win Clarks shoes for a family of four.

On Saturday customers will receive a free gift with every purchase, a glass of bubbly, balloons for the kids and there will also be a special appearance from life size Clarks characters, Jack and Daisy.

They are also giving away a free pair of Rieker shoes and a pair of Hotter Shoes.

Owner, Justin Mansfield, said: “Some of the Guardian readers may remember our mascot called Poddy.”

”He was in the children’s shoe department for many years. It was called Poddy’s corner.”

“The company passed to Eric’s Son Steven and his wife Jane who both grew up in Worksop.”

“They ran the business until 2006/07 when their niece Alison and I became involved. Alison grew up in Worksop and all her family still live in and around the town.”

Wards shoes shops have now extended out to Derbyshire and there are also shops in Bakewell, Matlock, Belper and Allestree.

They stock men’s, women’s and kids shoes from Clarks, Rieker, Earth Spirit & Hotter.

Justin said:“The past few years have been really challenging for small businesses. We face so much competition today from online retailers and big centres like Meadowhall.”

“We really appreciate our customers who still choose to shop in Worksop town centre.”

“All the team are really looking forward to celebrating the anniversary on Saturday.

“60 years in business is such a great achievement and we are so proud that it all started in Worksop.”

The shop celebrated the anniversary with their staff and colleagues at Alison House Hotel in Cromford on Sunday 11th May.

Shop manager, Sarah Woolley, who has been with the company for 18 years, said: “We had a great time.”

“It is a real family business and everyone gets along.”

“It is a great place to work.”

“I hope people come visit us for our 60th anniversary.”