Vintage celebration as stores’ boss reaches birthday milestone

A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning - Tim Aldiss celebrates with staff in 1930's dress. Picture: Matthew Usher. A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning - Tim Aldiss celebrates with staff in 1930's dress. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Monday, April 14, 2014
9:41 AM

It was a year which saw the start of the Second World War and the births of John Cleese, Tina Turner, Ralph Lauren and Terry Waite.

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Tim Aldiss celebrates his 75th birthday at the Norwich store with the help of Lord Mayor Keith Driver and his staff dressed in period costumes.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Tim Aldiss celebrates his 75th birthday at the Norwich store with the help of Lord Mayor Keith Driver and his staff dressed in period costumes. Photo by Simon Finlay.

And 1939 was also significant for Norfolk department store Aldiss as it was the year its current chairman Tim Aldiss was born.

On Saturday, the company’s stores in Oxborough Lane, Fakenham and Hall Road Retail Park, Norwich held parties to mark Mr Aldiss’ 75th birthday.

Mr Aldiss, known to many as simply “Mr Tim”, celebrated in the Fakenham store in the morning before being taken on a vintage bus with VIP guests to the Norwich store to continue the party in the afternoon.

Former and current staff and directors were joined by customers in toasting the landmark birthday.

A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.

There was live music from the 1930s and 1940s and staff dressed in clothing from the period.

People enjoyed traditional ice cream from an ice cream bike in Fakenham and the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver, visited the Norwich store to raise a glass to Mr Aldiss and wish him a very happy 75th birthday.

Mr Aldiss said: “I knew they were planning something, but

I didn’t expect all of this.

A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.A 75th birthday celebration for Tim Aldiss was held at the Fakenham store on Saturday morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.

“It’s really nice to see the staff getting dressed up, in the party mood - I’m really taken aback by it all.”

The Aldiss business is 122 years old and Mr Aldiss is the third generation of his family to run the company after his grandfather and father, both named William.

Aldiss, which employs 140 people in Fakenham and 28 in Norwich, opened its Oxborough Lane, Fakenham superstore in 1990 after originally opening on Norwich Street, Fakenham in 1892.

Mr Aldiss spent his 50th birthday opening the Fakenham store.

Mr Aldiss is the last Aldiss to be running the company. But with Paul Clifford as managing director, responsible for the day-to-day business operation, he is confident the future is in safe hands.

He said: “It is great to have someone who thinks the same way as me now running things.

“He is always on the shop floor, dealing with customers face to face and sorting out any issues they have, which is the Aldiss way.”

He added: “The turnover is good and the company is doing well despite coming through a very

difficult time for the retail

industry.

“With the dualling of the A11 I predict exciting times ahead for Norfolk.”

Are you celebrating a milestone birthday in an unusual way? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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