Started work for sixpence a week, Wickford tailor Mr Ernest Green retires.

Newspaper article of c.1947, from the Malcolm Merrington collection.


“Retiring from the tailoring trade after about 67 years, Mr Ernest Green, of London Road, Wickford, still has the carefully kept accounts dating back well over half a century.  He started work for his father when 13½ years of age and was paid sixpence a week pocket money.

His father had been in business in Baker Street, London, for many years and passed on to his son the secret of high class tailoring.

The sixpence a week increased in sixpenny and shilling stages until at the age of 25 Mr Green was earning a guinea a week.

With ambitions to own his own business he saved every available penny and in October 1905 had capital of £100 with which he came to Wickford and took the shop in London Road at a rental of £18 per year.

His customers ranged from travellers with their own peculiar style of suits and costumes to the gentry of Wickford and surrounding parishes, to whom he supplied sporting, day and evening wear, all cut and made by hand.

All through his adult life Mr Green has carefully recorded income and expenses and his penny tips to porters, and books show such items as butcher’s boys, rail fares, board and lodgings and numerous items of petty cash.

At almost 80 years of age, Mr Green still writes with a clear copperplate style. He retires this Wednesday to enjoy well-earned leisure”.


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  • In the 1940/1950s I knew Mr Green and his little shop. He was very interested in history and the records and adverts of old companies that were still running. I stopped many times to chat with him and he told me about collecting adverts from old magazines and sending them to the company – he often got good replies and a sample of their wares.

    By Arthur Cox (13/10/2014)

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