COBBLER to the stars Moors Brothers is celebrating its centenary this year – although the exact date its first shop opened in Bournemouth is a bit of a mystery.

Since being founded as a shoe menders by Charles Moors in 1912, the business has been handed down from father to son four times.

Current co-owner Steve Moors said: “We’ve dealt with the same bank and accountants for 100 years. We’ve tried to go back through the records to find out when the business opened, but they don’t go back that far. So we’re going to tie in our celebration with the Olympics.”

The shop in Seamoor Road, Westbourne, caters for everyone, but Steve will not reveal any celebrity clients. “We’ve had film stars and a few rock and pop stars. There are a fair few people around here that have famous names, but they’re customers at the end of the day,” he said.

Before being taken over by Steve and his younger brother Ian, the business was run by their parents John and Yvonne. They retired in 2000.

“I started coming here when I was 10 years old. I suppose it’s in the blood. It was something I was brought up to and wanted to do,” said Steve. “Ian came in for extra pocket money and ended up working here as well.”

The story goes that Charles Moors was on a bus with his wife during a day trip from Blandford when he spotted an empty shop at 28 Seamoor Road and decided it would be a good location for a shoe repairers. During World War Two there were two shops next door to one another, and later the business moved to its current premises. The Wareham branch opened in 1980 and Wimborne about five years later. The family introduced key cutting in the 1970s, and started supplying and engraving trophies in the 1990s.

Moors is now the main supplier of sailing trophies in the country and probably one of the biggest in Europe, with a thriving internet-based business.

“We’ve had to diversify slightly, but we still do shoe repairs like we did 100 years ago,” said Steve.

“There are a lot of cheap shoes on the market now, and that has had a detrimental effect on shoe repairing in general.

“We find that people still want to keep cheap shoes going if they’re comfortable. We also repair £2-3,000 shoes. We do work for other shoe repairers and have built up a reputation for being totally honest with customers.”

Both brothers have children and hope the fifth generation of Moors will take over when they retire.