Suit-maker to the stars leaves a lasting legacy

Walter Grimes.

Walter Grimes.

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A suit-maker to the stars whose company continues to thrive five decades after it was launched has passed away, aged 85.

Walter Grimes founded bespoke suit makers, Carl Stuart, in Ossett and his business went on to become a clothes shop of choice for the rich and famous.

Royal Ties: The Duke of Kent talks to Walter during a visit in 2009.

Royal Ties: The Duke of Kent talks to Walter during a visit in 2009.

However, the highly-skilled master cutter had been suffering from dementia in recent years and he died in Pinderfields Hospital on the evening of January 3.

His family, who still run the famous firm today, paid tribute.

His daughter, Jane Firth, said: “He was very generous, gentle and kind man and was a very good listener.

“Everyone had 100 per cent respect for him, and everybody has been shocked by his death, it’s a very sombre mood among the staff at the moment.

Tributes: The family of Walter Grimes, pictured with trousers made for the Worlds tallest man Xi Chun  have paid tribute after he passed away.

Tributes: The family of Walter Grimes, pictured with trousers made for the Worlds tallest man Xi Chun have paid tribute after he passed away.

“He will be missed a hell of a lot and it’s such a massive loss.”

Growing up in Thorpe, he went on to become a master cutter at Ibbotson’s tailors in Leeds, before branching out on his own in April 1963.

As his reputation grew over the years, so has the long list of famous A-list customers such as Elton John, Mick Jagger, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro.

The company was even asked to cut a bespoke jacket for US President-elect, Donald Trump, and trousers for the world’s tallest man - 7ft 9” Xi Shun from China.

Shop manager Stephen Spurr and long-time friend said: “Walter was excellent at what he did, otherwise we wouldn’t have the reputation we do.

“He was perfectionist and stuck with the industry when others fell by the wayside.

“He worked six days a week and took work home with him for the seventh day, he really loved his job.”

The funeral will be held at Holy Trinity Church in North Ossett on January 25 at 2pm.