First class customer service is said to behind the longevity of a shop that has traded during the reign of seven monarchs and the terms of 37 prime ministers.

Smith and Smith Ltd, a traditional gentleman's outfitters in Bridport, is celebrating its 140th anniversary.

It opened its doors during the late 19th century, on March 25, 1884 at its original shop in South Street - next to the current arts centre.

Owner Sue England shared the secrets of shop's longevity amid tough economic times on the high street. 

She said: "It's wonderful the shop is celebrating 140 years. I think customer service plays a really big part of it. 

"We're always looking to chat to people and talk to them about their personal needs. 

"We focus a lot on sustainability within fashion and what products are made from and communicate about this to them."

An original document dated to 1884 was stamped by Edwin Smith at Market Place on South Street in Bridport for a tailor, habit and breeches maker.

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The business moved into its current position on West Street during the 1920s.

It was at this point that mahogany counters and glazed drawer units were installed.

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A photograph shows workers of the time cutting the fabric on one of the large tables.

As clothes were still hand tailored on the premises at the time, the huge table that was used for cutting out the cloth is still an active part of the shop more than a century later, although it’s no longer used for cutting material.

The family-run business changed hands in the 1950s following the deaths of the Smith brothers, where it was taken on by the father of the current owner, Sue England. 

Her dad carried on the business on behalf of the executives of the estate before buying it later in that decade. 

A photograph from January 1968 showed a new carpet had been installed as the business was looking to expand to offer itself to new clientele.

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During the 1970s the business faced extensive alterations to the ground floor, which extended the men’s showroom for the expanding ranges of ready to wear clothes.

A decade later, the shop heralded an exciting new phase when it opened a new women’s department on the first floor.

Starting modestly selling just tweed skirts with co-ordinating knitwear, the department has grown over the years and now sells clothing from well-known brands.

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Sue added: "It's a lovely business to be involved in, with such a fabulous team. We're all like a family and it's all just enjoyable - the firms we deal with have also been so amazing over the years." 

Whilst the business looks back over the past 140 years with pride at how Smith and Smith has grown, Sue said the company is ‘looking forward with excited anticipation at what the future holds.’