Vil­lage life

Putting the spot­light on re­tail­ers whose busi­ness is an im­por­tant part of the com­mu­nity

Cheshire Life - - Retail - PHO­TO­GRAPH: Kirsty Thomp­son

Weaver­ham Hard­ware

You may be able to buy your screws and timer on the in­ter­net but noth­ing beats the smell of a hard­ware shop.

For nearly 30 years those liv­ing in the vil­lage of Weaver­ham have been able to find all their DIY es­sen­tials at their lo­cal hard­ware store which was opened by Barry Starnes back in Au­gust 1989.

Barry had worked for his par­ents at their shop Star Buys, Wins­ford, from 1976 un­til they re­tired in 1989 and he de­cided to strike out on his own.

‘In 1993 we had a big ex­ten­sion built within the shop and in 1999 we ex­tended again tak­ing over the shop next door, which made it more vi­able as we had a lot more stor­age,’ he ex­plains.

‘To­day we may not have as much foot­fall as we used to but we are fight­ing back. We lis­ten to what our cus­tomers want and stock it. Only to­day some­one came in and asked for a kind of wood glue that I have never heard of so I have or­dered it. It’s all about be­ing able to adapt. ‘

Adapt­ing to the sea­sons is an­other way the shop has thrived. ‘In the win­ter we sell bot­tled gas, logs, fire­wood and kin­dling and we use lo­cal sup­pli­ers where ever we can,’ says Barry.

‘Then in the sum­mer, it’s bed­ding plants and gar­den­ing items. We also stock wood, paints and lots of DIY items and we also fit watch bat­ter­ies and cut keys. All these things make a busi­ness.’

Weaver­ham Hard­ware store now has seven mem­bers of staff, in­clud­ing Barry’s daugh­ter Emma and her hus­band Gra­ham.

‘Many of our staff have been with us a long time, some of them at least 20 years’ he says.

‘Ex­pe­ri­ence is a won­der­ful thing. It’s that one to one re­la­tion­ship that peo­ple still value and, of course, we are lo­cal. I am lo­cal, our staff are lo­cal and we use lo­cal sup­pli­ers as much as we can.

‘And when I give up the shop, Gra­ham and Emma are hop­ing to take it on and carry it for­ward - I hope they do.’

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