PRAISE has been heaped on a business tailor-made to keep traditional skills alive in South Tyneside.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, recently visited a family firm that is still cherishing traditional skills at the heart of its business.
T.W. Moore Tailors has operated from the same premises in Stanhope Road, South Shields, for 35 years.
The specialist firm is owned by Stephen Black, who lives in the town and has worked at the tailors for more than 30 years.
Mr Black, 49, used to work with his late uncle, Thomas William Moore, who established the family business.
Until Mr Moore’s death in 2008, the tailors specialised in a range of services, from custom-made suits to clothing alterations.
Now the firm is focusing on the alterations side of the business, especially as consumers can easily buy suits ‘off the peg’ at many high street shops.
Mr Black, who is married to Janice, and has two children, said: “Specialist tailoring is becoming a dying trade, with ‘conveyor belt’ clothing flooding the high street and pushing out the more traditionally-crafted garments.
“I still get people coming into the shop for alterations to suits my uncle made more than 20 years ago.
“It shows the longevity and quality of tailored materials.
“As a trained tailor, you always experience a great sense of pride when you see someone wearing your handiwork, and even more so if they’re over the moon with the results.
“I would love to think there’s an abundance of eager tradespeople in South Tyneside ready to become the next generation of tailors.
“They should persevere with their interests and ensure this dying art form isn’t lost forever.”
After visiting T.W. Moore Tailors, Coun Gibson said: “It was fascinating to see Stephen at work and witness traditional skills put into action.
“South Tyneside is world-renowned for its practical expertise, including manufacturing and engineering, and everything should be done to enable specialist skills to be kept alive for years to come.
“The beauty of South Tyneside is that family-run businesses are still in operation alongside multi-national enterprises, with the same level of passion and commitment running throughout them.
“The council and its partners work closely with local businesses to help them prosper for the future, through training and development opportunities.”