FEARS have surfaced that a much-loved school and workwear shop that has been trading in Southend for almost five decades could be shutting down for good.

Pauls School and Workwear, in Southchurch Road, has been selling branded south Essex school and plain uniforms, as well as general work gear since 1975.

But staff at the shop told the Echo after almost 50 years, the shop will trade for the final time on December 30, due to the owner taking retirement.

It is not known if the business will be taken on by anyone else. 

The Echo contacted the owner of Pauls but he refused to respond to our request for comment. 

Pauls holds a very special place in Southend resident James Webber’s heart as it was there where he got his first uniform when he went to Belfairs in Leigh.

He said: “I got my first Belfairs uniform from there and all my siblings got their uniforms from there.

“The shop was really helpful, and the staff were amazing. I even got my daughter’s first high school blazer from there.

“I know that the owner has retired and would have hoped the legacy of Paul’s uniform could carrying on trading as not many people can.

“As well as that, it was an ideal location for all who used it.

“I can honestly say it will be missed by many.”

Pauls enabled many parents to buy badged uniforms for a whole range of schools in and around the city, such as secondary Southend High School for Boys, in Prittlewell Chase and Plumberow Primary Academy, in Hamilton Gardens, Hockley.

As well as clothing, the primary school range also offered establishment-branded book bags.

Helen Boyd, Southend Conservative councillor responsible for children’s services, education and learning, used the shop for her son when he attended Southend High School for Boys.

She said: “It was a very good shop, and the prices were very competitive.

“It was a very valuable resource, and I am sorry to hear it is closing down at the end of December.

“I am sure the owner deserves his retirement, but it is a shame the shop could not carry on.

“I wish him all the very best.”

The retirement sale, which has every item at 50 per cent off, is running in-store only up until December 30.

For more information, call: 01702 466431.