Traditional Norfolk store to close
Emily DennisIt has been described as an Aladdin's cave by tourists who cannot believe the wealth of items stocked in a traditional Norfolk hardware store.Emily Dennis
It has been described as an Aladdin's cave by tourists who cannot believe the wealth of items stocked in a traditional Norfolk hardware store.
From a single screw, a ball of wool, or even a plug for the sink, Youngs in Loddon will almost undoubtedly have what you are looking for - and even a few items you had not thought you needed.
For more than 30 years this old-fashioned store, which is combined with a undertakers business, has served the people of the town and the surrounding area by providing a much-valued and traditional service.
But the continued march of DIY superstores, coupled with the recession, has led the current partners to make the tough decision to close the shop on Bridge Street and expand the funeral side of the business, which has been unaffected by the turbulent economic climate.
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Business partners Frances Freestone, 83, and Martyn Smith, 61, yesterday said they would be sorry to say goodbye to the hardware store which they described as being 'part of Loddon'.
Mr Smith said: 'We have made the difficult decision to close the store and expand the funeral side of the business into the shop.
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'With the recession, the DIY big boys opening up, and people buying things online which are delivered to their door, we cannot compete with that.
'We are fairly lucky in that the Loddon Garden and Seed Centre will be taking on the hardware side and the wool will be going down to Bridge Stores, so the people of the town will not lose out. But it is sad because it is a part of the town and we have customers who have been coming in for many years.'
He added: 'People call it an Aladdin's cave and tourists come in and say 'we wish we had one of these where we live'. They are all mesmerised and look in every nook and cranny.'
The hardware store will close on March 31.