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 HV0257 – "Charles Thompson, Draper" – c.1895

03 - © Edward Reeves Photography

Charles Thompson of 19 Cliffe High Street was a Clothier, Outfitter, Draper (Cloth retailer & haberdasher) and Silk Mercer (seller of fine fabrics). Until the First World War women’s and children's clothes were mostly made at home or by a dressmaker. Men's detachable collars were either soft collars or stiff collars in linen or cotton that could be starched.

Louis Potts


How long have you been in business here and why Lewes?
We opened our first shop in School Hill in 1976 (now Tizzes). We had begun selling china on the Friday general market at Lewes cattle market in 1970, so we were fairly confident that our shop venture would be well received.

Have you found that there's anything that people have asked for more now after lockdown has been lifted?
Definitely wine glasses- says it all!

What's been your favourite single moment/interaction while trading during lockdown or after having re-opened?
We were in the shop every day during lockdown, processing online orders, and were thrilled to receive a steady stream of phone calls from local customers, mainly seeking wine glasses and preserving jars. Most days, we were running a local delivery service on the way home.

If you had the chance, which past Lewes High Street shop would you most like to re-introduce and why?
The Gourmet - never equalled, a great Lewes family business.

Of all the events and meetings that happen on the High Street which are you most looking forward to experiencing again when social restrictions are eased?
Late Night Shopping Party for business, Bonfire for fun!

Jenny & Ella at Louis Potts