Bernard’s Suits

By Posted on 22 Comments 2 min read

When I was growing up, there were shops close by to the house we lived in. That’s how it was in those days. One shop I always remember was the newly opened gents outfitters.

In Between The Butchers & The Grocers

It was called something like, ‘Bernard’s Suits’ and had a little tag line underneath which said, ‘for the well-dressed man.’ Even though I was only 6 or 7 at the time, I remember thinking what a strange place for an outfitters shop. It was perched in between George Mason the grocers and Dewhurst the butchers. On opening day, Bernard’s Suits was very busy, they had made a big fuss locally about them setting up the business.

Corduroy Slacks

Back in those days, I don’t think I had seen many men wearing suits in the area where we were living. The dress sense was more corduroy trousers or slacks as my mother used to call them and open-neck shirts. The only time I saw men in suits were at funerals, weddings or when the bailiffs came knocking the front door! As for the opening day, there were plenty of kids in attendance as they gave away free balloons. I think my mother came away with a pair of socks for my dad.

This Was The 1960s

Don’t forget, this was in the 1960s when U.K. film stars of the day were people such as the great entertainer, Norman Wisdom. Bernard’s Suits had managed to get Norman to attend the opening ceremony and cut the ribbon. Again, it seemed a strange choice of celebrity to open a tailors shop. Norman was famous for wearing ill-fitting suits as can be seen in any of his films. This must have had a catastrophic effect on the fortunes of the shop. People would say things like, “Oh, I wouldn’t buy a suit from Bernard’s, that’s where Norman Wisdom gets his from!”

Mr Grimsdale

So it was, the shop lasted less than 12 months and sunk without trace. They didn’t have a closing down sale either, because they realised they couldn’t give the clothes away after their opening day gaff. Oh well, as Norman would say, “Mr Grimsdale!”

You can find more about the wonderful Norman Wisdom here.

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22 Comments
  • librepaley
    September 7, 2019

    Slacks! There’s a word that’s a blast from the past.

    • admin
      September 9, 2019

      Haha, glad you liked that, Librepaley, it’s a word that conjurs up memories for me. 🙂

  • Rosaliene Bacchus
    September 7, 2019

    What a strange location to set up a store selling men’s suits! Their business was doomed from the start.
    Norman Wisdom: I haven’t heard his name mentioned since my childhood days growing up in British Guiana.

    • admin
      September 9, 2019

      Yes, it wasn’t a good place or choice for that kind of business, Rosaliene.

  • Peter's pondering
    September 7, 2019

    I had my first suit at the age of 9, for my sister’s wedding. It had short trousers!
    My first long trouser suit, apart from school uniform, cost 9 guineas and was from Burton’s.

    • admin
      September 9, 2019

      I think I was about 16 when I had my first suit, Peter, a blue velvet number. 🙂

  • SueW
    September 7, 2019

    You are so right, what a gaff! Though I did like Norman Wisdom!

    • admin
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Sue, it was and I loved Norman Wisdom too

  • susiesopinions
    September 8, 2019

    That’s so funny

    • admin
      September 8, 2019

      Thank you, Susie

  • America On Coffee
    September 10, 2019

    Very nostalgic. There were msny like this.

    • admin
      September 10, 2019

      Thank you

  • Hope
    September 11, 2019

    Wow! I bet your drove all the girls wild with that suit.😉

    • admin
      September 11, 2019

      Lol, Hope. I’m not sure about that, but I know it was destroyed when my Mother, bless her, tried to clean it in the washing machine. 🙂

  • Terry Madeley
    September 11, 2019

    Norman Wisdom! It’s never really struck me before, how odd his surname is. He didn’t come across as especially wise.

    • admin
      September 11, 2019

      But he did give a lot of people, including me, a lot of pleasure.

  • That is funny.. what were they thinking. My mother had my father in slacks and a sports jacket for daily wear and suits to go out including to the pub! Poor man would have been in the dog house unless suitably attired.. He adored Norman Wisdom and I don’t think it was just his humour, more his right to wear what he liked in public! terrific post Trev thank you.

    • admin
      September 17, 2019

      Thank you, Sally, appreciate your kind words.

  • YBP
    September 17, 2019

    Wow! I love reminiscing…. it helps us all appreciate what was …. and what is ….. so refreshing! ❤️

    • admin
      September 17, 2019

      Thank you, YBP, I agree with you.

  • ciccolady
    September 22, 2019

    Good to go back time sometimes🤗

    • admin
      September 22, 2019

      It is good, thank you 🙂




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