Sunday, December 01, 2019

Vivian's 35th Christmas window

Kilcullen's longtime 'ambassador' to Newbridge, Vivian Clarke, has just completed setting his 35th Christmas window in the menswear business he operates on Edward Street in our neighbouring town, writes Brian Byrne.

Given that Vivian and his brother Brian — who retired from the business in 2012 — had already worked with the late Denis Melia in Newbridge for 14 and eight years respectively before setting out on their own, it is unlikely that any other Edward Street business has still the same face behind the door after 35 years.

In addition to providing a quality range of wear to longtime and newer customers, the Clarke's shop is also daily a touchstone for the very many Kilcullen people who have settled in Newbridge over the decades. It's where they can keep up with the happenings, stories, and people of their home village on a regular basis.

"Thirty-five Christmas windows," Vivian muses. "And it's always a challenge to have it that little bit more special."

Yes, because the clothes and fashions change. But there's always one consistency — the Christmas pieces like the Santa Claus with the spinning globe are classic decorations which Vivian has used for decades.

"There aren't many, but children still come to look at them in the window every year. They were expensive when I first bought them, but buy quality and it will last."

Always the slogan for the business too.

This piece was first published in The Kildare Nationalist.

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