Store couple decide it’s time to ‘shut that door’
From lords and ladies to celebrities like comedian Larry Grayson and footballer Emlyn Hughes, David and Margaret Bracewell have welcomed thousands of faces through the doors of their furniture shop.
But now after more than 30 years of selling their wares in Hythe Road, Ashford, they’ve decided they are going to ‘shut that door’ and retire.
In a letter to customers they have announced their retirement and a closing-down sale.
Mr Bracewell, 67, was an antiques dealer in Hornchurch in Essex, but moved to Ashford in 1982 to take over what was then the In Style Kitchen store.
He said: “We’re really grateful to all our customers that have been so supportive over the years.
“On the first day of our sale we had lots of people coming back in and saying they were sorry that we are going.
“At 67, I just felt we need some time to rest and to travel. We went away with the grandkids this summer for the first time, the eldest is now 16. It was the first time we’d ever gone away with them.”
Mr Bracewell said a highlight was former Generation Game host Larry Grayson – famous for his catchphrase ‘shut that door’ – visiting the shop to help with marketing.
He added: “He came along and we took lots of pictures. In one we were both lying on one of the beds and he turned around and said ‘you’ll have trouble explaining this to your friends won’t you?”
Mrs Bracewell, who also runs a handbags and clothing shop called Vida in Burmarsh, said the time was right to retire.
She said: “I think David will miss it, as it is a bit like his baby really, but we’re looking forward to doing different things. We won’t just be doing nothing.
“It is the right time. David can still lift the furniture but he said he doesn’t want to reach the stage where he will be found dead under a wardrobe.
“I’m looking forward to gardening, my photography, singing in the choir and spending more time together with lots of holidays.”
Mr Bracewell said the future of the shop in Hythe Road is not yet clear but will hold talks about letting it out to new tenants.
‘We’re really grateful to all our customers that have been so supportive over the years’
Larry Grayson who helped with marketing the store