Historic Wymondham shoe shop, A G Proctor and Son, set to close

A family-run shoe shop that has been part of Wymondham's high street for almost 100 years is set to close as a result of the retirement of its owner.

A G Proctor and Son was established in the town by Arthur George Proctor in 1914 and has been run by three generations of the same family.

However, his grandson has begun a 'retirement sale' and will bring the independent store to a close in a couple weeks, once he has sold the majority of the shop's stock.

Terry Proctor said he had no one to pass the business on to and decided to shut up shop after an opportunity arose to rent out 1 Church Street to an undisclosed retailer.

The 55-year-old said that whilst men's and women's shoe styles had changed over the last 98 years, the store's philosophy had been the same.

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'Fit and comfort are the most important. I have grown up as a boy here with shoes around me and ever since I was five-years-old, I have been surrounded by shoes. The ethos of the company has stayed the same and there are two companies in the business that my grandfather would have bought shoes from. There are less and less places that can offer help with fit and that is a shame,' he said.

Mr Proctor took over the running of the shop in 1995 following the retirement of his father, Colin, who had run the business since 1963 following the death of its founder. He added that the retirement sale had gone quicker than expected.

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'The public have been marvellous and a lot have been loyal customers, some came in with their mothers as children, and we are very grateful to them and our current staff and past staff.'

'Throughout the years I have been protected against any recessions because of the loyal support and the basic tradition of helping people with their feet has not changed. We have received lots of interest in the property and we were planning to retire in a couple of years and we decided to take one of those opportunities,' he said.

His sister, Susan Harmer, has worked for the store for 25 years and Heather Whitham for 30 years.

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