QUEEN Victoria was on the throne, Britannia ruled the waves, the English Football League was formed and van Gogh lost an ear.

The year was 1888, and at the time the first ballpoint pen was being patented Tyrers family department store was taking the first steps towards becoming a household name in St Helens.

The story began when current managing director Ali Tyrer’s great grandfather, William Tinsley Tyrer, took a chance with a box of men’s shoes he’d been given and started selling them from his front room.

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Trade blossomed so William’s father and brother joined him as assistants and soon the first Tyrers shop opened selling menswear at 12 Liverpool Road.

William had three sons – John, Ratcliffe and Eric – and during the 1920s they worked in the shop and business grew with the purchase of 8, 10 and 14 Liverpool Road.

“In 1928 William’s row of small shop fronts were given their first face-lift, giving customers the impression of one large store,” said Ali.

“Tyrers was ‘the’ place that every discerning gentleman wanted to go.

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“William was well known and respected in the town and had gained himself a reputation of honesty and integrity – it was all about quality, reliability and that all-important customer service. He was the one who really put in place the values and traditions which are still intact in the business today.”

When William died in 1933 his eldest son, John Tinsley – Ali’s grandfather – took on the role of managing director and road improvements meant the business had to move from Liverpool Road.

Tragically, on the eve of the opening of the new 10,000 sq ft store in Bridge Street, Ali’s grandfather suffered a heart attack and her father, John Christopher, had to take over the running of the business in November 1960 at the age of 23.

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Ali said: “Over the next 42 years the business became his life and love and he played a big part in the local community.

“The Tyrer family have always taken an interest in St Helens and its life, and Dad would say that shops and shopping would always be an essential part of the social life of the community – he was always right!

“One of the biggest decisions Dad took was to add another floor on to the building, and in 1979 he opened a Studio restaurant and hair salon, a great asset to the business.

“Now we have become, for many, the heart and soul of the town centre.”

giving customers the impression of one large store,” said Ali.

“Tyrers was ‘the’ place that every discerning gentleman wanted to go.

Leigh Journal:

 


 

“William was well known and respected in the town and had gained himself a reputation of honesty and integrity – it was all about quality, reliability and that all-important customer service. He was the one who really put in place the values and traditions which are still intact in the business today.”

When William died in 1933 his eldest son, John Tinsley – Ali’s grandfather – took on the role of managing director and road improvements meant the business had to move from Liverpool Road.

Tragically, on the eve of the opening of the new 10,000 sq ft store in Bridge Street, Ali’s grandfather suffered a heart attack and her father, John Christopher, had to take over the running of the business in November 1960 at the age of 23.

Ali said: “Over the next 42 years the business became his life and love and he played a big part in the local community.

“The Tyrer family have always taken an interest in St Helens and its life, and Dad would say that shops and shopping would always be an essential part of the social life of the community – he was always right!

“One of the biggest decisions Dad took was to add another floor on to the building, and in 1979 he opened a Studio restaurant and hair salon, a great asset to the business.

“Now we have become, for many, the heart and soul of the town centre.”