SHERINGHAM COMMUNITY WARDROBE RELAUNCH
Dressmaker Steve Gare began his career in the display department of Britain's top department store. And, on Monday (October 29), the former Harrods haberdashery manager had a chance to show off his talents when he asked local people to model some of his creations as part of a re-launch of Sheringham community wardrobe. Among the outfits on show were a Henry the Eighth costume modelled by SheringhamPlus Community Partnership events co-ordinator Jason Bell, a Pierrot number modelled by North Norfolk District Council cabinet member for the community Hilary Nelson, and a Victorian bathing belle costume worn by community wardrobe vice chairman Margaret Roffe. Cambridge-born Steve, who recently took over the management of the community resource, became interested in dress making after being asked to run up a wedding dress for a Harrods colleague in less than a week.
"She was absolutely thrilled to bits with the results, so I decided to move back to Cambridge and set up on my own," he explained. After running his own theatrical costume company for 17 years, Steve retired to Stalham. He signed up as a community wardrobe volunteer last year and, when manager Tina Wegg decided to return to university, he was asked to take over. "I had already stood in for Tina while she was on holiday and had a ball, so I absolutely jumped at the chance," he said.
The wardrobe, which was set up last year by SheringhamPlus Community Partnership with funding from North Norfolk Community Partnership and support from Sheringham's High School and Little Theatre, is run by a management committee and a team of volunteers. It offers an extensive range of costumes available for hire, with other services including a children's dressing up box for birthday parties and stage make-up workshops run in partnership with Sheringham Little Theatre. Steve, who is entirely self-taught, now hopes to expand the wardrobe stock, as well as offering new services including made-to-measure costume making, costume courses and an online wardrobe catalogue. "What I would like to see is for Sheringham community wardrobe to take over the mantle of the number one costume house in Norfolk," he said.
Sheringham community wardrobe, at Unit 28, Weybourne Road Industrial Estate, is open Monday-Wednesday from 9am-5.30pm, Thursday and Friday from 10am-7pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-1pm. For more information, phone 01263 823910 or visit www.communitywardrobe.co.uk