Fond farewell for fam­ily shop

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AMUCH- LOVED fam­ily store has an­nounced it will close for the fi­nal time later this year, af­ter more than 40 years.

Brains Dis­count House, on York­shire Street in Bacup, has be­come a lo­cal in­sti­tu­tion since it opened in 1976.

Mary Brain, 82, opened the shop with her hus­band Paul, af­ter the cou­ple moved north from Mid­dle­sex and it has seen sev­eral gen­er­a­tions work be­hind the counter.

Since her hus­band passed away in 2000, Mary has car­ried on serv­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity with sweets, birth­day cards and a va­ri­ety of house­hold items.

How­ever, daugh­ter Denise Hoo­ley, 57, said a com­bi­na­tion of de­clin­ing foot­fall and in­creased lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion from other stores has forced Mrs Brain to close the fam­ily shop.

She said: “When Natwest and Bar­clays closed in 2015 I think that was the start of things, be­cause peo­ple started go­ing to Rawten­stall to do their bank­ing and then like you do, you go and have a look around and do some shop­ping.

“It didn’t re­ally have an ef­fect at first but over the last ten months the shop has not been the same.”

Denise said Mary needs to put her feet up af­ter four decades be­hind the shop counter.

Since Denise an­nounced the sad news on so­cial me­dia there has been an out­pour­ing of sup­port for Mary and the shop.

Denise says that she was al­most brought to tears by some of the com­ments and that it was al­most enough to make them re­think the clo­sure.

She added: “It was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion but we think it’s time.

“She’s 82 and we just think that she needs a break. I’ve al­most been in tears read­ing the mes­sages and com­ments.

“We’ve had a lot of peo­ple com­ing into the shop telling us that they are go­ing to miss us; it al­most made us change our minds. One lit­tle lad came in re­cently and told us that he was sad to see the shop close but that he will come in ev­ery day un­til we do and buy some sweets.

“We still get our reg­u­lars com­ing in and we are re­ally good friends with them and they are al­ways ask­ing about my mum.”

No spe­cific date has been set for the clo­sure but the shop will re­main open un­til Christ­mas.

Mary Brain be­hind the counter with her daugh­ter Denise Hoo­ley

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