AN independent family-run shop is gearing up to celebrate an impressive 90 years in Billericay High Street.

Women’s clothing store N Shelley, which originally traded out of a tiny front room, first opened its doors in 1924 and has continued to thrive through the decades.

The shop is still in safe family hands as owner Sarah Millet is the greatniece of seamstress founder Norah Shelley.

She is confident the store will still be popular for many more years to come.

Mrs Millet, 45, said: “We have never felt more proud of our heritage, or more excited about the future.

“Billericay is a wonderful town and we want to take this opportunity to extend a huge thanks to the customers we’ve had the honour to serve and the businesses we’ve shared the High Street with during the past 90 years.”

N Shelley will mark its landmark anniversary with a week of celebrations, including a special fashion exhibition.

It will showcase Essex clothing throughout the past nine decades, and tell the story of N Shelley, which survived the depression of the Thirties, and the wartorn years of the Forties.

John Baron, MP for Billericay and Basildon, will be guest of honour on the shop’s official anniversary, on Friday, May 2.

He said: “N Shelley has been a beacon of women’s fashion on our High Street throughout its illustrious 90- year history.

“I am delighted to be able to open the Twenties Tea Party event to celebrate this important anniversary.”

Shoppers will be in with the chance of winning a £250 Frank Lyman voucher, a £200 Luisa Cerano voucher, £150 Betty Barclay voucher, designer handbags from Coccinelle and accessories from Passigatti.

Local ladies are also being asked to contribute towards the celebrations by sharing stories or photographs for the N Shelley memory gallery.

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