Store cou­ple de­cide it’s time to ‘shut that door’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Webb’s Of Tenterden Reopens After Fire - By Ai­dan Bar­low

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

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