A man who has been looking after customers’ footwear for nearly 50 years will be shutting up shop in early September, although the family’s name will continue elsewhere in Bury St Edmunds.
Ray Curry’s family has been in shoe repairs for around 180 years when his great grandfather set up shop in Etna Road.
Today, Ray runs West End Shoe Repairs, off St Andrew’s Street South, while his cousin Brian and his son Andrew runs shoe repairs and engraving at Curry’s Service Centre in Cannon Street.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed meeting the people, some of our customers have been coming here for 30 years. I shall be sorry to say goodbye to all my customers. Lots of them have been coming in to say goodbye. It’s quite sad.”
Ray began working for his father Don when he left school just before his 16th birthday and found himself at the helm after Don suffered a heart attack and, 11 years later, a stroke. For the past 36 years Ray has run the business on his own with many loyal and regular customers.
Over the years Ray has seen changes in the area around the business and also to the trade but he has kept the more traditional skills alive.
He has had all sorts of footwear come in for repairs, including one pair with bullet holes in them.
And as for all those uncollected shoes that people leave behind, these have been donated to charity shops,
The business will close in the second week of September and is currently being refurbished to be let.
However Ray and wife Dawn, who is also retiring, are aiming to enjoy their free time. Ray, who enjoys playing squash, walking and cookery will be starting up golf again in his free time and the couple are having a holiday with Brian and his wife Margaret.