'I'll be very sad' Owner of Suffolk jewellery shop to shut its doors after nearly 280 years

  • Click above to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

A jewellery shop that has been trading for nearly 280 years is to close its doors for good.

Originally set up by a famous watchmaker in 1745, Thurlow Champness has been a constant on Abbeygate Street in Bury St Edmunds since the reign of King George II.

Now the owner Trevor Salt is retiring and he says with no-one wanting to take on the business, the shop will close this summer.

Trevor says the shop is due to close at the end of August. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Trevor Salt is the third generation of the same family to own the Suffolk jewellery store.

"277 years is the time that really the same same products have been sold in this exact location so I think it must be pretty unusual if not unique for something to have carried on for that long.

"I will be very sad. I'll miss all the staff and the customers as well.

"We've had customers coming in here for generations, I've known 3 different generations of several families."

The original lease Trevor's step-grandfather signed for the shop. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The watchmaker George Lumley originally set up the business selling luxury goods in 1745, where clockes, pocket watches and silverware would have been sold.

In 1901 Edward Thurlow Champness, Trevor's step-grandfather, bought the company and the building and the family moved into the floors above, where they lived until the 1950s.

The clock outside the shop will remain after Trevor leaves Credit: ITV News Anglia

As people came and went, the site remained a shining jewel in Bury St Edmund's crown.

Trevor told ITV News Anglia that the job had been and still is so enjoyable.

"People are coming in to get engaged, to get married, celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, so usually they are coming into the shop feeling very happy and positive.

"We're very lucky to be dealing with that sort of situation."

The doors on the famous shop are due to shut at the end of August.