A family business which started out after the Second World War is still going strong 75 years on.

John Gowing Jewellers in the Covered Market in Oxford is celebrating the landmark anniversary with special signs in the window and a chance to win a Mondaine watch in December in a special prize draw.

Managing director John Gowing runs the business with wife Annie, who looks after the accounts.

He has another reason to celebrate - he has now been in the trade for 50 years since he turned 16 and at the age of 66 he has no plans to retire.

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“It is a bit crazy that I have been doing this for 50 years but I have no plans to change at the moment,” said Mr Gowing.

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The shop sells quality new and pre-owned watches, as well as jewellery including diamond rings from leading designer Christopher Wharton, fine quality earrings and wedding rings.

Mr Gowing is a trained watchmaker and also offers an extensive watch and jewellery repair service.

The jewellery store is open every day except Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Mr Gowing said the business does have a website but staff like to focus on meeting customers and providing a personal service.

He added: “After the lockdowns footfall has definitely started to pick up again in the market.

“One Saturday at half-term was the busiest I have seen Oxford for quite some time and that was reflected in how busy the market was too.

“We are feeling positive going forward as the number of shoppers picks up again.

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“The vaccination programme has been rolled out well.

“We still have our counter screen and customers are free to wear a mask or not - it’s up to them - I still wear one sometimes.”

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Mr Gowing said the engraved dates on some couples’ wedding rings had to be altered when there were delays and cancellations due to the pandemic.

He added: “There were quite a few delays but that didn’t stop couples from getting married and we have been here to support them.

“Our rings start from a few hundred pounds upwards - we try to cater for most budgets.”

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Mr Gowing said he was feeling hopeful about the future prospects of the market.

He added: “I do feel that the city council (the landlord of the Covered Market) has its heart in the right place and wants it to do well.

“There are a number of empty units but at the same time there are plans for those units to be filled - I think four new businesses are currently being lined up to take over different units. I’ve seen the shopfitters in here working on them so hopefully they will be filled soon.”

For more on John Gowing Jewellers visit johngowing.co.uk.