Morecambe cancer survivor opens new shop on prom as 75th birthday present to herself

A Morecambe woman has found an uplifting way to spend her later years.
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As Dawn Fleming-Burt approached her 75th birthday she decided to open an underwear shop and after just a month, business is booming.

“I was fed up of talking to the wall so this venture was my 75th birthday present to myself,” said Dawn.

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Dawn discovered there was a gap in the market for a shop selling bras for women of all sizes and set her sights on an empty shop in Marine Road Central, and Morecambe’s Bra Bar was born.

Dawn Fleming-Burt, founder of Morecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin StuttardDawn Fleming-Burt, founder of Morecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Dawn Fleming-Burt, founder of Morecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“Our bras start at size 30AA and go up to 48L. We sell teen bras, post surgery and nursing bras and a range of brands including Royce, Berlei and Fantasie,” Dawn said.

The shop also sells knickers and will offer swimwear in the future. Gift vouchers will be available from October too.

Dawn’s long working life has included running a dress agency, managing a retirement complex and 16 years with a boatbuilding company.

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She now runs the new shop as part of a team which includes Mahsa Azzeinali and Susan Ogden.

Morecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin StuttardMorecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Morecambe Bra Bar. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Another important member of that team is Cilla, Dawn’s assistance dog.

Dawn, who’s originally from Devon, was diagnosed with glaucoma in 2017 and has poor sight in one eye. She had cancer when she was 62 and ‘retired’ aged 68 owing to various health issues which still blight her life.

But just like Dawn, nine-year-old Cilla is a survivor. Originally rescued from Romania, she was taken to Greece when her owners moved there. However, when one of them died, she was going to be put to sleep. Instead, the vet sent her to a rescue centre and that’s how she became Dawn’s pet who helps her pick up anything she’s dropped, assists her crossing roads and accompanies her on shopping trips.

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Cilla rests behind the counter where Dawn meets and greets customers though from July, the pair will be seen there less often as, owing to health issues, Dawn will only be in the shop three days a week, providing mentoring to Mahsa who will run the business.

Dawn moved to Morecambe two years ago after visiting with a friend. “I knew then that this is where I was going to end my days. It’s my little piece of heaven.”

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