Whilst 1960 saw no vacant premises in either Cliffe or Lewes High Streets, by 1964 there were 16 unoccupied properties – some residential, most commercial. Businesses no longer operating included two fruiterers, a bakery, a draper, a watchmaker, the Cinema de Luxe and the Maypole Dairy Company at number 14 Cliffe High Street.
How long have you been in business here and why Lewes?
As Goldfinch's our business has been in existence since 2010, but it has been the site of dry cleaners for a lot longer. As the present owners, we have had the business for three years. While we were on the hunt for a dry cleaners to purchase, we came across Lewes, and we both fell in love with the historical charm of the place. There is nowhere better to be on a Saturday than Lewes.
Have you found that there's anything that people have asked for more now after lockdown has been lifted?
We haven't found that people have asked for anything different from us. Instead, they have been patient, and they understand that currently, our service time is a little longer.
What's been your favourite single moment/interaction while trading during lockdown or after having re-opened?
There hasn't been one single moment that sticks out for us. However, we have been overwhelmed by every customer taking the time to ask us how we have coped during lockdown, not only as a business but as individuals. Those interactions have meant the world to us.
If you had the chance, which past Lewes High Street shop would you most like to re-introduce and why?
It would be great to have Le Magazin back in Cliffe. They served the best food in town.
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?
The event we always look forward to is Christmas late night shopping, the buzz in the whole town that night is magical. We will miss it this year, but we are already looking forward to its return in 2021.
Laura and Alan at Goldfinch's Dry Cleaning