one of the greats…..

As you know English Cut was the first blog ever written about the craft of Savile Row tailoring. This was done to reflect the actual people in the trade and not solely as a commercial venture.

As it’s the people who have dedicated their lives to this trade who have been the inspiration for me writing in the first place it’s obvious that I’d be telling you about the wonderful people I’ve met that have made this such a rewarding career. Of course because of the personal nature of our craft sadly, I write about dear friends that we’ve lost.

Fred Eltham sadly passed away this week after a very brave fight against failing health. Still incredibly working at the trade he loved and literally worrying from his hospital bed that he’d got everything completed for me. As no matter how frail he was feeling he had no intention of letting English Cut or any of our clients down.

Working for nearly 65 incredible years in the trade he was as familiar to everyone as the cornerstone of number One Savile Row. He amassed amazing skill in tailoring specialising in dress wear and body coats and also the hugely complicated world of bespoke military uniforms.

Fred said I was only a “baby” or “just a kid” as he’d say as I’d only worked with him for 25 years going back to my days at Anderson & Sheppard where we first met. I say baby as quite simply Fred looked after me over all those years never letting me down always helping me with a complicated job and correcting me when needed. Basically, he was like a dear uncle with a font of knowledge that I will miss immensely.

I’d never be foolish enough to think that this was special treatment for me. This was Fred’s attitude to life and included everyone he met. Always the first port of call for help as you knew you’d never be turned away.

clare  fred
(my future wife Claire with Fred helping her with her collection several years ago)

Thankfully our time was not all work and Fred would often come up to Cumbria to stay with me and my family after his wife died and also he never needed to be asked twice to attend one of our parties. Of which you can imagine he was always the life and soul.

I know that everyone in the trade send their love and prayers to Freds’ family who will miss this lovely man so very much.


  1. Jane Eltham says

    Thank You for your kind words. My brother was indeed one of the great ones, an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift and talent. He loved his family, his life and his work and we miss him so much.

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