FOR 123 years Regent Street department store McIlroys sold everything from buttons to furnishings.

Its plate glass frontage was a landmark in Swindon's shopping centre and its imposing clock tower, demolished in the 1960s for safety reasons, used to be famous.

But then the national boys came to town.

Debenhams, House Of Fraser and the Designer Outlet Centre all set up shop and slowly but surely McIlroys' owners, shops group Mackays, came to the conclusion that its landmark traditional old department store could not compete.

So on January 13, 1998 it was announced the store was to close.

The news caused shock waves in Swindon.

Many of its staff and customers shed tears when the doors of McIlroys shut for the last time on April 30, that year. A decade later the store is still missed.

Now the Advertiser is planning to mark the anniversary of the day its blinds were drawn for the last time.

If you worked there or shopped there and have memories of McIlroys to share, please call our newsdesk on 01793 50180; write to Newsdesk, Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon SN1 3BE; or email