Geoffrey Golding, who left school at 15 and later launched his own business, is now one of the most celebrated tailors in the country.

Mr Golding, 75, from St Albans, runs his bespoke tailoring store G.D Golding in Hatfield Road and has catered for the likes of military and royalty.

Last month, he was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

But his success has humble beginnings.

Mr Golding left school at a young age after deciding that due to his dyslexia, it would be more logical for him to start building a career rather than pursue formal education.

“It was a common thing then to leave at 15,” explains Mr Golding.

Mr Golding, who lived in the east end of London, went on to work as a chef and then as a cabinet maker. But he said he finally found his calling when his father, who worked as a tailor, pushed him into the trade.

His ambition was to open his own business before reaching 21. So, at the age of 19, having worked for other tailors in Savile Road, he opened G.D Golding tailors in Hatfield Road with the help of his brother.

He said: “It was very difficult to get a lease – obviously I had to be 21 for a lease, the same to get a bank loan. So, my brother guaranteed my lease for me.”

When the business first started, it became quite popular straight away. He offered clothing repairs across the county, including Bedfordshire as well as general tailoring.

Over the 56 years, Mr Golding has served a range of clients, including admirals, officers, recruits from military academies and cavalries, MPs, Lords and High Sheriffs.

Tailoring is a difficult trade, one that Mr Golding believes is now hard to find skilled staff for. To him, tailoring is a niche career, something which requires practice and passion over formal education. While some career paths require further education, entering the world of tailoring should require experience over knowledge, he said.

Mr Golding said: “Due to governments pushing for people to go to university, people are forgetting what the trade is.

“The thing is we’ve had people go to university and after they don’t know how to use a thimble and needle!”

G.D Golding welcomes young apprentices as an alternative to train staff and help people get into the trade.