In October 1929 Gerald and Ronald Clarke set up shop in King Street and over the years the premises grew until the building was tragically destroyed by fire in January 1995. By this time the business was in the very capable hands of the next generation, Richard and Christopher who had joined the business in the late 1960’s.
The fire would have destroyed most businesses, but not Clarkes. With the support of their loyal customers Clarkes traded from portacabins on the old site whilst the current store was built, this wonderful new store was opened by Ann Widdecombe on 27th December 1996.
Since then the business thrived, the product offer changed dramatically but the level of service and customer care continued with customers returning again and again.
In December 2007 Richard and Chris retired but the Clarkes name and reputation continues with the business now being owned by Lenleys of Canterbury, a family firm with the same values as Clarkes. Many of the familiar faces are still in the store where they continue to offer a wealth of experience and expertise rarely found elsewhere.