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After the sale of Suters, what happened to various family members involved with the company ?.......

Clarence Suter retired and moved to Meadle near Princes Risborough, Bucks living at his elder son Tom and his wife Doreen's farm until his death at Stoke Mandeville on the 2nd September 1979. More information about Clarence Suter Here

Frank Suter retired and continued to live in Stoke Poges till his death on the 22nd October 1990. More information about Frank Suter Here

John Suter retired and lived in Gerrards Cross until his death on September 11th 1998 a month before his 91st birthday More information about John Suter and the Uxbridge Rotary Club Here He became a director of Philip and Gráinne Suter's company Jeffrey Milner Ltd and assisted with the bookeeping.

Tom Suter was involved with the farm at Meadle and then moved to Somerset and back to Oxforshire.

David Suter moved to Cornwall with his wife Sally (who passed away on the 12th February 2018), but died from cancer within a few years later on the 7th May 1993 at St. Austell.

Tony Suter worked for SSVC for a number of years before retiring.

Ian Suter who had left the family business several years before 1978 had set up Ian Suter Fashions with his wife Christine (who passed away on 7th October 2005) had been a fashion buyer at Suters. They were based in Marlow and Wallingford and eventually retired to Spain. See Suters House Journal Spotlight June 1969 here

Michael Suter moved to Spain and became involved in his holiday home rental business.

Dick (Richard) Suter moved to Belgium and worked for Champion Spark Plug in Belgium, as Public Relations Manager for Europe, Africa and Middle East. He and his wife Ginny retired to the south of France and both died of cancer within six weeks of each other on the 21st March and 9th May 2013.

Robert Suter continued in the retail business working for the John Lewis Partnership at Brent Cross, West London and High Wycombe until finally retiring in 2013. See also Anita Suter

Philip Suter became involved with the property business setting up Frank Farr & Sons residential lettings in 1984 and JNP's Lettings in 2001. With his wife Gráinne, they established jml Training Consultancy under the Jeffey Milner Ltd company and also became involved with online marketing for insurance products.

Other Members of the Suter family who had worked for Suters Ltd

When Arthur Suter (father of Elizabeth "Su", Ruth and George) passed away on the 14th March 1972 his wife Dorothy became a non executive director. This was an arrangement made by the four brothers, Arthur, Clarence, Frank and John that their wife would become a non excecutive director in the event of their death. Dorothy remained a director till she passed away on the 17th June 1975. See also Arthur Suter page

Left: Letterhead from Suters in Slough from 1975 with Mrs D.R.Suter's name crossed through.

Anita Suter (passed away on the 4th November 2014 More Here) who was married to Robert Suter was a fashion buyer for both stores.

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After 1978 what became of the Slough and Uxbridge stores

After 1978 in Slough

In November 1978 it was re-branded as Owen Owen. It was later sold to Alders in 1998 and then to Debenhams

According to "The Retail Bulletin" 22 March 2005 Debenhams said the stores it has acquired at Basildon, Ilford, Portsmouth, Slough, Sutton, Woking, Chatham and Clapham will be open for business under the new management by April 1, and will be revamped by the end of July.

In the book "High Street Heroes - The story of British Retail in 50 People" by John Timpson the Chairman of the Timpson Group published in 2015. Under "Philip Green" he writes "The leverage deals got progressively bigger and more ambitious. The purchase the following year (1994) year of Owen Owen, the department store chain that also owned Lewis's Department Stores (not to be confused with John Lewis) was more about property than retailing. Some stores were sold to Alders and Debenhams before Philip Green sold his stake (to David Thompson) and moved on to the next deal". More information here about this book

In September 2018 Slough High Street is looking rather sad, Marks and Spencer to the left of Debenhams has been shut for over a year at this time and is empty.

On the other side of the street opposite to

The Queensmere shopping centre, BHS has been closed for a long time. The building at 204/208 High Street was at one time part of The Lidstone business according to Tom Suter's wife Doreen (née Lidstone) - Her family were involved at a business at 154 High Street, Slough

On the right of Debenhams Clarks shoes (where Milwards shoes was) is also closed.

Debenhams entrance tiling is just like it was when Suters was rebuilt in the 1960s and the doors look like the original ones.

The escalator to the second floor is not working and the second floor appears shut and no longer a trading area and researching this with the Slough 1970s Facebook group it appears to have been shut for over six months.

On left is the same closed escalator going from 1st to second floor some 40 years ago in 1978.

No restaurant or coffee shop on the second floor, but a Costa coffee shop on the ground floor at the front.

The staff entrance is now at the front in 2018

Whereas back in 1978 it would have been on the left of the photo which is now the rear entrance

to the right of the Suters sign on left of this image below

Left - side of store in September 2018

Left Alders - photo courtesy Ian Matthews Slough 1970s Facebook Group

Below: Slough - June 2014

Front of Debenhams Slough - Marks and Spencer now occupy the old Art Wallpaper shop unit that was between Suters and Marks and Spencer

Above rear of "Debenhams" in Slough, on close up photo to left the brickwork is a different colour, beige by the two windows that was home to the boardroom. This was painted over after Owen Owen bought Suters in 1978 as the word Suters was there using a dark red coloured brick. You can just about see this on the image on the right below.

The image below right is the only remaining green on the building that the company used to use for shopping bags, vans, letterheads, flags, garage doors, goods entrance doors and signeage etc. This section of the building was an additional floor to accommodate the goods lift machinery.

In April 2019 according to BBC News on 26 April 19 "Debenhams has named 22 of the 50 stores it plans to close as part of a plan by new owners to revive the department store chain - Debenhams stores to close in 2020 - Slough"

15 January 2020 Goodbye Debenhams in Slough - An online report by David Less from the Slough & South Bucks Express said: Debenhams closed its doors this week after more than 30 years of trading in the High Street.

The retail chain announced its plans to scrap its Slough branch in May last year as part of nationwide cost-cutting measures.

The store’s long goodbye came to an end on Wednesday with shoppers given one final chance to hunt for bargains in a closing down sale.

A Debenhams spokesman said: “We would like to thank all our customers for your support over the years. We would also like to thank the local team and our colleagues in the store who have continued to deliver great service despite the news of the store closure.

“Once again we would like to thank everyone who has shopped with us in Slough and we look forward to extending a warm welcome to you at any of our stores around the country in the future.”

The unit belongs to the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre which is targeted for redevelopment by the centre’s owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Source: Slough & South Bucks Express 17 January 2020

The Slough & South Bucks Observer's Francis Batt reported online on the 16 January 2020

Shoppers in Windsor and Slough are facing the loss of two iconic stores this week.

The loss of Debenhams in Slough High Street - which finally closed on Wednesday - has been expected, following the company's earlier announcement of plans to shut a number of shops in the South East following major losses. But the closure this Saturday of the Lakeland kitchenware store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre has come as a surprise and a shock to shoppers in Windsor, coming after the loss of the adjoining Fenwick's department store and Next.

A statement for Lakeland said: "It is with regret that we’ve had to announce the closure of our Windsor operation in 2020.

"Lakeland has received notice from the landlord of their intention to redevelop the site, which will result in Lakeland vacating the unit. "Having explored all options currently available locally, Lakeland has sadly been unable to source a viable alternative to the current unit and as a result has no option but to announce the store’s closure with colleague consultations being undertaken.

"We are very proud of our store team, who have worked exceptionally hard to deliver a wonderful store environment for our customers, and we will be working closely with our colleagues to support them at this difficult time."

It is unclear from the statement who Lakelands' landlords actually are in the town and no-one was available to comment this week. But a spokesman for Aberdeen Standard Investments - investment agents for Windsor Yards - said: “We are, and have been, considering different options to this end of Windsor Yards, since Fenwick and Next vacated their units here. These are with the aim of introducing new tenants to Windsor and Windsor Yards and revitalising this part of the centre for the benefit of the whole town.”

Source: Slough & South Bucks Observer 16 January 2020

10 March 2020

Debenhams and Marks and Spencer now both closed units in March 2020

After 1978 in Uxbridge

In November 1978 it was re-branded as Owen Owen. After Slough was sold to Alders the Uxbridge store was split into two units around 1998 . It is now occupied by Superdrug on the ground floor and Sports Direct on the first and second floors.

Left: Front & rear of Uxbridge building in March 2009 below rear in June 2014

By June 2014 the Old Woolworths premises has been occupied by Poundland. Had the Uxbridge site been sold off later after Woolworths closed, the two sites could have become a good size town centre department store. When the site was Suters (later Owen Owen) the sales area was some 34,969 sq feet, whereas with the Woolworth site a unit of some 70,000 sq feet could have been a possibility.

In 2014 Superdrug occupies the ground floor and

Sports Direct.com occupies the first and second floors.

The entrance to the left would have been once part of the first floor fashion departments.

The image on the left is taken from a small flight of stairs from what would have been the shoe department.

Below back in 1978

See also

Internal Photos of Suters in Slough and Uxbridge June 1978

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Source of images, unless otherwise stated - Suter family archives

 

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