A new era dawns next week for a long-established Lewes business – and with it the promise of the most stylish shopping experience the county town has to offer.
Jewellers W.E. Clark and Son is launching its stunning new showroom on Thursday, November 22, with a weekend of
celebrations to mark the event.
The company, established in 1919, occupies an iconic site with two premises on either side of historic Cliffe Bridge.
One is where the High Street officially ends – the other is where Cliffe High Street begins.
And it’s at 224 High Street that the magnificent new showroom will open. I had a sneak preview of a work in progress that will feature a stunning new interior and mezzanine level, complete with a chandelier.
On the banks of the River Ouse, with its own balcony and garden, it will feature a diamond room, a wedding room, computer-aided design area and repair centre.
The rear extension to the premises has been a feat of engineering and building skill, which involved driving 12 piles 60ft down in the riverbank to anchor the foundations on the chalk bed. Construction began in July and has been undertaken by Lansdowne Specialist Contractors, of Brighton.
Director Richard Heath said the project had been “an enjoyable challenge”.
Showing me round were Managing Director David Clark and his father John, Chairman, the third and fourth generation of the Clark family to run the business.
“We are about to make buying jewellery even more pleasurable,” said David, the President of Lewes Chamber of Commerce. “This will offer a luxury shopping experience.”
With 13,000 customers on its database, the business is sure the dramatic revamp will be a hit.
David said: “This will provide much more space for you to browse our jewellery ranges – whether you want a modest gift or would like to commission a bespoke item from the Clark Collection.”
John added: “We’re proud of what has been achieved here. It gives us a third more space than with two showrooms. All our beautiful stock and wonderful team will be under one roof.”
W.E. Clark and Son will retain the other premises across the river but it is being let to a local, as yet undisclosed, business.
The opening of the new shop on Thursday will be celebrated with sparkling wine and canapes for customers from 6-9pm.
During the opening, and on November 23 and 24, there will be a 15 per cent discount off all purchases.
The outlet closed temporarily on October 29 while Hallmark Shopfitting, of Birmingham, added the finishing touches to the project.