Fond farewell for family shop
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