Ashley Pugh started his journey in jewellery back in 1983. 39 years later, Ashley is now the proud Owner and Managing Director of Eastbourne’s oldest independent jewellers, W.Bruford.

Ashley first got into the watch and jewellery industry at just 18 years old, fresh out of sixth form he started as a junior sales assistant at Goldsmiths. After 17 years in early 2000, Ashley took the plunge and became the Owner and Managing Director of W. Bruford, Eastbourne’s oldest independent jewellers, originally established in 1886 by the Bruford family.

Now with nearly 40 years’ experience in the industry, with 22 one of those years being as a Managing Director, Ashley and W.Bruford stands strong in Eastbourne and is the town’s go to jewellers. Ashley is very involved in the business and always likes to be at either one of his stores, serving customers and keeping the face of Bruford’s in the public eye.

The business is now split between two stores, The Beacon Centre and Cornfield Road. Having specialised for many years in luxury products and keeping up with the changing retail environment, Ashley took the decision to create two very different offers. The Beacon Centre is home to their flagship watch store, featuring a stunning Rolex boutique, their pre-owned watch collection and other luxury brands such as Breitling, Tudor, Longines and TAG Heuer.

The store located on Cornfield Road is now home to all their diamond, bridal and pre-owned jewellery. However, this year will see another major development as their Cornfield Road location is set to go through a major change later in the year…

New beginnings

Bruford’s Cornfield Road store will be relocating in late summer 2022. Serving as Bruford’s home for the last 50 years, they have finally outgrown the distinctive 11-13 Cornfield Road premises. But fear not, they are not going far! In fact they are only moving across the road to No. 10 Cornfield Road, previously the home of Steamer Trading and Pro Cook

This stunning new building is undergoing full refurbishment at the moment and will be home to the W.Bruford exclusive diamond, bridal and fine jewellery collections. It will feature a stunning champagne bar and will house all their aftersales service departments for both jewellery and watches, which will include a fully Rolex accredited workshop.

No. 10 will be a brilliant next step in the W.Bruford journey, bringing all things jewellery under one roof.

Keeping W.Bruford in the family

W.Bruford is an independent, family run business, and Ashley intends to keep it that way. It is great to see that two of Ashley’s three children currently work in vital roles within the business.

His son Harry has been training as a watchmaker for the past three years and has recently re-joined the W.Bruford team having finished his final studies at The British School of Watchmaking in Manchester. He is currently securing his Rolex Accredited Watchmaker status. Partnering this with

the state-of-the-art workshop means W.Bruford will be able to offer in house servicing and repairs of the prestigious Swiss brands they stock.

His Daughter Naomi, who is already a Bachelor of Arts, is off to study in London next month. Naomi will be enrolled onto the 3-month jewellery design course at the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). When she returns, Naomi will be able to help customers bring their bespoke jewellery ideas to life. She is also keen to see the repurposing of jewellery, allowing pieces that may otherwise have been consigned to the melting pot to get a new lease of life for the next generation.

Away from Bruford’s, Ashley is a keen to support Eastbourne and its town centre along with several charities he has links with. He is a director at the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce as well as at the Eastbourne BID. Ashley also devotes time to St Wilfrid’s Hospice and sits on two of their Advisory panels.

Contact info:

The Beacon store – 01323 410264

Cornfield Road – 01323 725452