Gordon and Ann Down close up their shop, Feathers, and take a well earned retirement. Gordon holds his parrot Pi and cokatoo Fred who inspired the name of the shop. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4194-39-13AW
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Sidmouth to get mobile phone shop as couple retire
A BIRD-LOVER and a beauty queen - who met in his Sidmouth store then married - have shut-up-shop after 25 years of successfully selling ladies’ fashions.
The town said farewell to Feathers when Gordon and Ann Down retired on Saturday.
Their High Street business will become a mobile phone outlet with national firm Go Mobile set to take over next week.
Gordon and Ann have thanked their ‘lovely’ customers, who have included famous faces, and say they are looking forward to having more time on their hands.
“We’ve had a wonderful innings and we’re sad to be going,” said Gordon, 70.
“We’ve never looked back. From start to finish it’s been brilliant, there have never been any problems.
“We are looking forward to having some time to ourselves. We don’t get to see much of Sidmouth because the shop has been so busy.”
Gordon first opened Quills, over the road from his current shop, in the mid 1980s.
He soon relocated and it did not take long to come up with the name of his new venture.
“I was selling clothes for birds [ladies] so I called it Feathers!,” said Gordon, who has also been mad about the feathered animals since he was a boy.
“I’m sad to see the name going. I’d have like to see it carry on. It was a very good business.”
The couple will stay living in High Street - with their parrot Pi, cockatoo Fred and Boston terrier Jake.
Gordon and Ann reserved special praise for Sue Clint -who has been a part-time sales assistant at Feathers since it opened in June 1991.
“We’ve loved the shops and we’ve loved our customers,” said Ann, 69, a former Miss Weymouth.
“We’ve had a good life out of the business.”
The pair met when Ann popped into one of the shops a quarter-of-a-century ago and romance blossomed.
Both Gordon and Ann have given Go Mobile, which has signed a long term lease on the shop, their full blessing.
The duo say they received a lot of interest in the premises.
“I think they are excellent – their ideas will suit Sidmouth. They seem a very decent firm,” said Ann.