Joyce Davison and Maureen Waterson set up in business together as a Partnership in January 1980 (at Exchange Buildings on Newcastle upon Tyne’s Quayside) without specifically thinking of creating a business specialising in the manufacture of Church Robes - and J & M Sewing Service seemed an appropriate name for the business.
Joyce and Maureen's first venture was simply to establish a sewing service, making and altering Theatrical Costumes (as they were doing that when they first met) and it was only because a number of early customers happened to be in the Church that Joyce and Maureen began to make items for them.
Little work was turned away - and very soon the two Partners were creating their own patterns and designs, to accommodate requests they received. It was some time before any visits to Colleges were arranged, and then it was only on a small scale – but two extra people were employed within the first year.
Joyce and Maureen were in the forefront of introducing Patterns and Styles specifically for women. Several of the other Suppliers expected women just to wear the same garments as men, with no distinction in Patterns. In fact, at one time J&M were almost the only manufacturers of Ladies Clerical Blouses or Ladies Cassocks.
Expansion continued to the extent that Joyce and Maureen had to take on more staff to maintain production at the levels being demanded. There were two moves within the same building before the Partners decided it was necessary to move to other premises.
1985 saw the J & M Sewing Service established at the current location - Charlotte Square in Newcastle upon Tyne, and further business expansion over the years led to the introduction of further staff and a certain level of computerisation in terms of embroidery and administration.
In 2004 the Business was incorporated, with Joyce and Maureen retiring, but remaining nominally as Directors, along with Theresa Tiffin and Stephen Wroe - and we were proud to be awarded the Royal Warrant in 2007 - "By Appointment to HM The Queen, Manufacturers of Clerical Robes".
Sadly, Joyce died in November 2010 after a long illness - and Maureen eventually relinquished her position as Director and Shareholder in January 2013.
We currently employ 20 people, all at the same location in Charlotte Square and the total Customer Base now exceeds 37,000. With the assistance of electronic communication - especially the Internet - we now have Customers in 41 different countries worldwide.
Our Company Registered Number is 5171952 - our VAT Number is 376 3971 11 - and our Registered Office Address is 1 Charlotte Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4XF.