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After 62 years in the same shop, Pretty Miss reveals its new home in Cwmbran town centre

a school uniform shop
Pretty Miss has been in this location in Cwmbran town centre since 1960

In 1960 John and Sheila Hurn opened Pretty Miss in Cwmbran town centre. In 2022 their daughter and grandaughter are preparing to move the family-run school uniform business to a new home in the town.

Running an independent shop for 62 years is an incredible achievement. They were the seventh shop to open in the town centre and the six before them have closed.

a daughter and her mum
Lucy Brown and her Sally Whitehouse, her mum

I popped in for a coffee and chat with Sally Whitehouse and Lucy Ford, her daughter.

Sally said: “My mum and dad opened it in 1960, it was actually the 17 November. It’s very emotional for me. It isn’t the end of an era because Lucy is going around the corner.”

Lucy will run Pretty Miss from 7-9 The Arcade, the row of independent shops around the corner from Boots.  and her mum will retire after a lifetime in the current shop on Caradoc Road, a few doors down from McDonald’s.

an empty shop
Pretty Miss’ new shop in Cwmbran town centre

Sally said: “I’ve been here my whole life. I was the naughty little girl who broke the front window. I had a stone in my hand and I was just around like that and I smashed that big window by there I don’t think I was quite four, or just four.”

As she tells this story she points at the huge glass window covering the right-hand side of the shop. She remembers being allowed by her parents to take her pram out of the shop and walk on her own all the way to David Evans in Gwent Square. She couldn’t go any further at the time as she says this is where town ended in those early days.

a 1962 newspaper brochure
A 1962 brochure advertising traders in Cwmbran town centre

Mr Hurn joined the RAF at 15 and served in World War II. Sally said: “He lied about his age so that he could go in. He was only 15 when he signed up and he said he was 16.

“When my mother was younger she worked in a shop and they did apprenticeships then and she was in a nice ladies’ outfitters. So she knew all the trade and one of the aunties was the same as well.”

a certificate
The 1969 certificate allowing Pretty Miss to sell Ladybird goods

When the shop was newly opened the Hurns also ran a business hiring out washing machines.

“He did that as the shop was still opening so they could manage because they didn’t know how the shop was going to go and eventually washing machines came in as a fashionable thing. And so then he came into the shop and worked with my mother.

“When we first opened we sold a lot of wool, there were ladies fashions, a bit of childrenswear. I think that in the lease at that time they could sell toys and bits and bobs like that.”

a 1962 newspaper
A copy of the 1962 Cwmbran New Town advertiser featuring an advert for Pretty Miss and Rabaiotti’s restaurant

I asked about what it’s like to see children come in for a uniform, then grow up and return with their own children, and for some even their grandchildren.

Lucy said: “Yes, it makes me feel really old” and her mum joked, “You can imagine what it makes me feel like, I’m ancient.

“We have probably clothed most of the kids in Cwmbran if you think about it, just in school uniform.”

Lucy said: “It’s nice as a lot of people return now, not just as customers but as friends. We’ve got lots of nice customers. We have been around a for while now haven’t we?”

The shop has also won clothing contracts for large companies like Under Armour.

Lucy added: “It’s time to move our shop and just focus on the school uniforms again.”

Sally said: “We’ve got a lovely view of the mountain. That’s the one thing I’m going to miss though.”

an empty shop
Inside Pretty Miss’ new shop on The Arcade

When will Pretty Miss close and reopen in its new shop in Cwmbran?

The shop will close on Caradoc Road on Friday 16 December and reopen on The Arcade on Tuesday 3 January.

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One reply on “After 62 years in the same shop, Pretty Miss reveals its new home in Cwmbran town centre”

Posted inUncategorized

After 62 years in the same shop, Pretty Miss reveals its new home in Cwmbran town centre

One reply on “After 62 years in the same shop, Pretty Miss reveals its new home in Cwmbran town centre”