SAD FAREWELL: Lancashire costume shop to close for good

Jane Rawkins and Kath Longworth from the Dress Circle in Longridge who after 30 years of making costumes have decided to retire and sell the 3,000 costumes as one job lot

Jane Rawkins and Kath Longworth from the Dress Circle in Longridge who after 30 years of making costumes have decided to retire and sell the 3,000 costumes as one job lot

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A theatrical costume shop that has provided fabulous clothing and props to drama groups across the county is to close.

Longridge’s Dress Circle is selling off all its 3,000 costumes before it closes for good.

We started with two rails after rescuing Grimsargh Players costumes which were stored and going mouldy in containers,

Jane Rawkins

Founder Jane Rawkins and her friends Joan Mackin and Kath Longworth have run the business for 30 years, drawing customers from all over the north west wanting vintage attires for plays or period, foreign, Shakesperian, fairy tale, and fancy dress costumes, for special events or anniversaries.

“Everything is available from the time of the Romans!” said Jane.

But now they feel retirement is calling and, although they are sad at the decision, they also feel it’s a time to celebrate what has been a long and successful run in a specialist field.

“We started with two rails after rescuing Grimsargh Players costumes which were stored and going mouldy in containers,” recalled Jane who, with Kath, is a Players member.

“Instead of packing them up again, we decided to hire them out, found these premises to work from, and everyuthing just took off from there.”

Longridge Business Group chairwoman Carole Hart said: “It is very sad to hear the businesses is selling.

“They are extremely popular in both the business and customer communities, and my hope is that sales at the Dress Circle are really successful, but their closure is a sad loss.”

All costumes and props are now up for sale, but because of the amount and variety of stock, it must be by appointment only by phone on 01772 784275, starting on Monday April 13 then on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and between 10am and 2pm each.