Ton up for Bath store John Moore Sports
A family-run business marked a century of trading with visits from two local sports stars at the weekend.
Bath Rugby player Olly Barkley and Olympic athlete Jason Gardner met customers at John Moore Sports in Argyle Street, signing autographs and posing for photos.
But a prank following a Bath Rugby function on Friday night saw the fly-half’s watch altered – meaning he was two hours late for yesterday's event.
Despite the hitch, Mr Barkley said he was delighted to help out the shop where he used to buy his rugby boots.
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“I came to Bath when I was 18 and John Moore Sports was always my first port of call,” he said.
"I used to buy my boots from here before I had a boot deal and they (John Moore Sports) have now starting embroidering kit for Bath Rugby.
“When I was first buying boots it was more about how they looked but now it is more about the research and development (of how they perform) and John Moore Sports have always been up on trends and have a specialist knowledge.”
The sports shop was formerly owned by England cricketer Len Braun and named The Sports Depot.
The shop was bought by the Moore family in 1912 and renamed John Moore Sports.
It is now in its fourth year of family management with John’s great-grandson Rob Moore now managing director.
“I think what has set us apart is the level of service and the technical knowledge of products,” he said.
“We are trying to go for quality products combined with good service.”
And Rob Moore has even more reason to thank the firm – his parents Denise and Richard met at the shop in the 1960s.
“I was 15 years old when I left West Twerton School and went to work at the shop as office junior,” said Denise Moore.
“In those days the office junior made the tea as well, that wouldn’t happen these days.
“Richard came to work here when he was 18 and that is how we met.
“The stock (in the 1960s) was basically what we sell now because it was always a specialist sports shop.
“But we also sold lots of fishing equipment which we don’t do now.”
In 1912, discerning customers were buying butterfly jars and ferret muzzles, as well as guns for hunting and all manner of sports equipment.
And while today's customers are looking for high-tech equipment such as heart rate monitors and lightweight running shoes, there are some areas where tradition reigns supreme - with cricket bats still made from willow.