How Cave’s became the place to buy clothes in Yeovil for many decades Leave a comment


One year ago, the couple behind one of the best-loved shops in Yeovil passed away.

Geoffrey, 88, and Angela Cave, 86, died in hospital following a collision on the A30 near Sherborne on January 21 last year.

The couple were best known as the owners of Cave’s Clothing and Shoes on Middle Street, which they ran together for more than sixty years.

Their deaths sparked an outpouring of grief at the time, and the loss of their shop is still felt among Yeovil residents, many of whom regarded it as one of the best independent retailers on the high street.

But what was it that made it a place that you simply had to go in the town centre?

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Cave’s opened in 1954 and became known in Yeovil for selling a range of renowned clothing labels, as people from across Somerset flocked to it to ensure that they were kitted out in the latest fashion.

Bob Osborn, a renowned historian in Yeovil, moved to the town from north London when he was in his twenties in 1973.

He said: “Having done most of my clothes shopping in trendy Camden Passage and Carnaby Street, I found Cave’s almost straight away on moving to Yeovil.

“It was the only on-trend clothes shop in the area that catered for the younger generation.”

The shop offered brands such as Ben Sherman to Yeovil’s fashion conscious, managing to keep pace with the fickle and ever-changing trends of the fashion world.

Mr Osborn said: “Other Yeovilians of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation will have fond memories of Cave’s.

“As we grew older, Cave’s kept up-to-date with younger fashions and gained new generations of customers for decades.”

The shop closed in August 2019, much to the sorrow of the town community, but it continued to trade online.

Sue Nitti was another customer at the shop and described its loss as “the end of an era.”

She said: “The last time my husband and I called into Cave’s, was for him to buy a new Harrington jacket in July 2019.

“We spent a wonderful half hour talking to Angela, as usual me reminiscing about shopping there in my youth, and as always she gave that gentle smile and listened, she was kind like that.

“We were so sorry when Cave’s closed, but I remember thinking she can rest now and enjoy retirement with her husband.

“For the last time, I will say thank you to Mrs Cave for being so helpful, for serving me for decades and for being Yeovil’s number one shop owner and friend to all the people who loved to dress just that little bit differently.”

Brian Pike was another Cave’s regular for decades and first found the clothes shop in 1959 while working as an apprentice at Sparrows Garage on Sherborne Road.

He said: “During that time I frequently visited Cave’s, which was just a five minute walk from my workplace.

“Mr and Mrs Cave were always very welcoming and as a young man they helped with my choice of fashion at the time.

“They were the trendy place to buy the latest jeans, shirts and boots.

“Even after leaving Sparrows, I still continued to shop there and was always made to feel welcome.”

Yeovil’s mayor David Recardo described Geoffrey and Angela Cave as “upstanding members of the community.”

He said: “I did visit their shop in Middle Street regularly when I was younger, as it was one of the very few places in Yeovil you could get trendy clothes.

“They are sadly missed in Yeovil, as many others of my age group used their store regularly and became friends with all their staff.”

Do you wish to pay tribute to Cave’s? Email me through rebecca.cook@reachplc.com.





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