Rex (the kind of name we’d mock these days for being pretentious) Simpson burst onto the men’s fashion scene in the 1950s with one goal: to swathe men in fine clothes. He must have done well, because this building is named Simpson House for his efforts.
As with so many big stores from the olden days, it’s taken two modern shops to replace it; in this case, Josephs [sic] Shoes and OPSM. The real interesting point to note here is neighbour Ron Bennett’s tagline: “Fine Clothing for Men”. What a thief! That said, Ron’s been making men look fine since 1888, so it’s more likely that Rex pinched the line for his own bigger shop. That’s why he’s the king…
TRUTHFUL UPDATE: Reader Ruth has written in to reveal the heretofore unknown true story of Rex Simpson’s ownership. Writes Ruth, “Rex Simpson wasn’t actually the store’s owner; the store was owned by my grandfather, John Bell. l remember visiting at the shop many times in the late 1960s when l was in my late teens. He also owned the factory that made the clothes.”
I guess John Bell Clothes didn’t sound quite as dynamic. Thanks, Ruth!