A FORMER London-based fashion expert is taking over a 40-year-old business in Kendal to keep the art of garment making alive in the town.

Eleanor Horsley, 33, is to head up B&B Cleasby on Boundary Bank Lane, near the Kendal bypass.

The company specialises in making high-quality tweed garments for high-end retailers across the UK, particularly in Scotland, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

It has been run for four decades by Brian and Barb-ara Cleasby, who will stay on for the handover and then retire.

Picking up the reins will be pattern cutter Eleanor, who lives near Ulverston and already runs Ele Hors-ley Couture.


She creates unique hand-made silk and lace wedding dresses, specialising in the kind of gowns that brides can’t find in shops.

Eleanor will also take over the Cleasby’s mail order brand Lakeland Skirts, which offers made-to-measure skirts.

Previously, she studied fashion at St Martin’s College in London, where the likes of Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen learned their trade.

During five years in the capital she worked as a pattern cutter for major brands and designers like Burberry and was a regular at London Fashion Week.

Since returning to the Lake District six years ago, Eleanor has worked as a freelance designer and pat-tern cutter for the Cleasby’s and will now head up the staff of four seamstresses and machinists.

Eleanor said: “I am really excited to be taking the reigns and looking forward to carrying on Brian and Barbara’s legacy with as much energy as they have put into it over the years.

“This is a wonderful business and I am proud to be carrying on Kendal's tradition of garment manufacturing and working with woollen fabrics. I am really excited for the future of the business.

“The quality of garments produced here is very high. As the runs of production are small and often one off, the standard is high and real pride goes into achieving this.”