A HAND-ME down suit which was made by Grattan in Bradford 45 years ago has now been passed down to the third-generation of a family more than 11,000 miles away in New Zealand.

Brian Congerton, who is now living in Pukekohe, Auckland, sent a letter to the customer sales team at Grattan to let the company know the suit was still wearing well more than four decades after he first bought it from its catalogue while he was living in Sittingbourne, Kent and his wife Patricia was an agent for them.

The smart suit, which then cost about £16, has had a "remarkable life" since it came into his possession in 1969, he wrote and added: "Being on the small size back then it was a perfect fit, as I grew older I grew larger but the suit stayed the same size. During this time I and the suit plus the family moved to New Zealand and the suit was relegated to my wardrobe."

Mr Congerton passed the suit on to both his older and younger sons when they went off to serve missions for their church in 1985 then 1989.

But unbeknown to him his younger son had kept the suit and it put in yet another appearance when Mr Congerton's grandson Henry turned 18 and was about to fly off to France for a church mission of his own.

"About an hour before he had to leave for the airport his father mentioned he still had the suit and asked if he wanted to try it on, you've guessed it it fitted him perfectly so he decided to take it with him.

"It is a remarkable piece of English tailoring and a testimony to Grattan's quality to have lasted this long and it looks as good as the day I bought it to attend church 45 years ago."

Mr Congleton even sent a photo of Henry in the suit at the airport with his family shortly before he jetted off to the US en-route to France.

Diane Fowler, who is Grattan's business unit director, said: “It was lovely to receive a letter from Mr Congerton telling us how his Grattan suit has been worn by the different generations in his family, particularly as this was sent from the other side of the world!

"At Freemans Grattan Holdings, all our brands pride themselves on producing high quality products – this fabulous story is a testament to that and also how styles can often be timeless.”