Holders – the gentlemen’s outfitters which has been serving Penarth since 1946 – will be closing for the last time next week.
The shop – which is owned by Ashley Holder – grandson of the founder, is to be leased – as from next week – to Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the UK-wide retail and property company run by multi-millionaire Philip Day.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill controls the fashion chain Peacocks and its property arm already owns the Holm House Hotel in Marine Parade Penarth and a portfolio of other local properties.
Holder and Sons – which later became A.C. Holder and Sons, and later Holder’s Menswear Ltd – was originally established in 1946 by Mr Ashley Holder’s grandfather – Arthur Charles Holder, the founder of the firm.
Mr Holder senior was a professional tailor who acquired the 15 Windsor Road premises (already a tailor’s shop) previously run by George Kinnersley.
George Kinnersley’s initials “GK” were incorporated in the fretwork above the windows of the original shop frontage.
Under the Holder family, the shop was modernised, and extended rearwards to add well over 100 feet of retail space in what had been a back yard. A second shop-frontage and the rear entrance which opens onto Ludlow Lane was then incorporated.
The interior of the shop -with its fine wooden panelling, pile carpeting and bespoke shop fittings – still imparts all the hushed, discreet ambience of a Savile Row outfitters.
Holders specialised in high-quality menswear, top-of-the-range ready-to-wear suits, jackets, shirts, ties, waistcoats, leather shoes and essential gentlemen’s under-pinnings such as braces, sock-suspenders and accoutrements like tie-clips and cufflinks – the only place in Penarth which stocked such items.
There once were other outfitters in Penarth – such as Alf Brockington, Evan Roberts, and – at the cheaper end of the market – Hodges – but they are long gone. Holders was the last one left.
The present owner Mr Ashley Holder – “Penarth born and bred” – who began working in the shop as a schoolboy at the age of 8 – is now retiring to enjoy life as a landlord.