Mayor cuts celebration cake as store celebrates 180th anniversary

The mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, cutting the cake to celebrate 180 years of Palmers with t

The mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, cutting the cake to celebrate 180 years of Palmers with the store's managing director David Howard watching on. - Credit: Kieran Lynch

The country's longest running independent store has celebrated 180 years in Great Yarmouth.

The mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, presenting a plaque to Bruce Sturrock, chairman of Palmer

The mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, presenting a plaque to Bruce Sturrock, chairman of Palmers to celebrate the store's 180th birthday - Credit: Kieran Lynch

Palmers which opened in 1837, celebrated its birthday today with a wide scale program of events.

The mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, officially launched the celebrations with a giant cake which was cut up and given to people in the store.

He said: 'Palmers has been in this market place since 1837 and I believe they can proudly state they are the longest established independent store in the country.

'This store has witnessed the passing of time, survived fires and bombing damage, adapted itself to keep up with the latest trends at the same time as providing a personal service to its customers.

Palmers department store, Yarmouth are celebrating 180 years of business with a giant window display

Palmers department store, Yarmouth are celebrating 180 years of business with a giant window display competion. David Howard, Palmers managing Director. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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'We are very proud to have this long established family run business in the town employing many people over the years.'

The original Palmers shop was opened by Garwood Burton Palmer in the reign of King William IV.

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The business started as a linen mercer's and silk drapers in the Market Place which had been the busiest trading centre of Great Yarmouth for centuries.

In 2012 David Howard was appointed managing director - the first person outside of the family to run the business in its 180 year history.

Garwood Burton Palmer

Garwood Burton Palmer - Credit: Archant

However the family run link to this day is still maintained as Bruce Sturrock, whose grandfather in law, Percy Palmer ran the store in the early 1900s, remains chairman.

Mr Sturrock said: 'I am delighted to see that the store has survived and to see what it has become today 180 years on after it first opened.

'We have had such great support and we had a wonderful program of events to celebrate the big anniversary.'

Until Wednesday, shoppers will be treated to 20pc off throughout all departments.

Also today the store put on cookery demonstrations, prize draws and the Win the Window competition.

Spanning furniture and fashion, mugs and make-up, people will be asked to decide what its all worth to be in with the chance of winning the lot.

The competition runs until May 29 with the winner announced on May 30.

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