The Olde Boy – The Craft
Published on Sunday, 30 March 2014, 4:12pm
He was as if a living memento of yesterday – the Master Tailor of Great George Street, who passed on over the festive period of Christmas 2013/2014.
He’d given me his card on first meeting when I’d happened to drop by once. A friendly voice with a sing-song lilt, crafted in a previous decade; the archetypal manner of a master in the tailoring guild; a translation of a shop-keeper: John Hurt or the likes from Harry Potter’s buying adventures in Diagon Alley – the Hogwarts story where Harry finds his first wand, tailored to his particular personality.
This is part of the craft of the Master at work; assessing the customer, listening to his questions and suggesting the solutions with a sympathetic eye and a discerning eye on the cost.
“There’s nothing more pleasant than extracting money by legitimate means from the customers in town when looking for quality at an affordable price.”
A nice pair of shoes caught my eye one day whilst glancing at the window display – 50% off, “Xmas Special” – the attached card proclaimed. So I asked to try them on to see if they fitted.
As it turned out, they fitted as a hand might do in kid gloves – comfortable, relaxed and nicely “crafted,” – a by-word for top-end British tailoring; worth every penny for the support alone in the changeable weather that life in Britain guarantees.
I’d treated myself on spec and was saddened when I noticed a sign on the door two weeks later announcing the proprietor had died and his funeral was to take place shortly. How quickly the scenery can change in a busy city street. It reminded me of a track by The Kinks called the something-or-other Man of Fashion – they seek him here, they seek him there.
This is often how I lead or guide myself through the ever changing shop-fronts, proffering different very special offers. Oh what fun when you can enjoy the sun, have a little money to spare and the chance of snapping up a bargain that you wouldn’t find uphill or down dale or for that matter in the middle of a sodden field.
GG – Inspire Arts Group