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Family closes South Shields shoeshop after 120 years

CLOSED DOWN ... Riddicks in Fowler Street, South Shields. Inset, the owners Angus and John Winfield.

CLOSED DOWN ... Riddicks in Fowler Street, South Shields. Inset, the owners Angus and John Winfield.

A LEGACY of 120 years in shoes sales has come to an end in South Shields town centre.

Family footwear retailer Riddicks, at 22 Fowler Street, South Shields – one of South Tyneside’s most eye-catching and iconic shopping outlets – has now closed its doors for good.

The once-thriving premises is now a merely shell after the two brothers who ran it for so many years – Angus and John Winfield – decided to bring the firm’s long history to a close.

The duo blamed increased competition and their age for calling time on the family firm.

Riddicks was originally established at 23 King Street back in 1893.

It was the brothers’ grandfather, Frederick Winfield, who took over the premises in 1920, and it was in 1980 that it transferred to Fowler Street.

Over the years it has sold every form of footwear, including ‘K’ shoes and the Padders brand, and everything else over the decades from winklepickers through to Roamers and Doc Martens.

Its departure is the latest in a number of family-run premises to have left South Shields town centre in recent years.

Among them are Thompsons electricals, which closed its doors in King Street early last year, and the Derek Thorpe Lighting Centre, which ended its 60-year association with the town late last year.

Angus, 70, who had been in the business for more than 50 years, said: “I’ve been with the business since I was 16. We’re not getting any younger and we’ve passed our sell-by-date.”

John, 65, added: “It feels as if we’ve done our bit and I’m looking forward to putting my feet up.”

It is not yet known how negotiations are progressing over the sale of the building.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul

 

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