Roadworks blamed for closure of historic Warwick shop

By Laura Maltby Wednesday 26 September 2012 Updated: 27/09 08:27

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Buy photos » Manager Charlie Collett with some of the shop's more quirky items. Picture by Jon Mullis 39.012.001.leam.jm14 (www.buyphotos247.com)

ROADWORKS are being blamed for the closure of a shop which has been trading in Warwick for over a century.

The Period House Shop, in Market Place, opened back in 1895, but will shut the door for the final time on October 18.

And manager Charlie Collett is in no doubt the death knell is a result of recent long-term roadworks in the town which have driven away customers.

The shop was for most of its life the family-run ironmonger Wylies, and still sells related items from door knockers to traditional tools, polish to paint, alongside other yesteryear items such as granddad shirts and ceiling roses.

The shop is part of a Grade II listed three-storey high building dating back to the 1840s - the decade Queen Victorian came to the throne - and amazingly retains almost all of its original fixtures and fittings, including the shop bell from 1895.

And in a nod to the shops rich past, staff still wear the same brown leather waistcoat uniforms as back in the day.

Mr Collett, who opened the shop 12 years ago, said: “There's still a call for products like these. People who have bought old houses like to do things traditionally and there are those who think modern products are not as long-lasting so they are trying to react away by buying quality original pieces from a long time ago.

“We do things properly here, it's about quality. We are a niche and you have to accept that is what you get when you come in to the shop.

“If you want to buy a lock you can buy one here and it will last a lifetime and probably for your child's lifetime too.”

The company has two other successful shops in Ludlow and Shrewsbury as well as an online shop but the shop in Warwick town centre has been unable to cope with the continual digging up of the roads.

Mr Collett said: “There are many things that we could change in here but the one thing that's beyond our control is the roadworks.

“They were supposed to encourage people to come from Warwick Castle into the town centre but it just doesn't work."

He admitted he would like to see a return to free parking or even cheaper parking in a bid to encourage people to return to Warwick and bring business not only to his store but also to others in the area who are suffering.

Mr Collett added: “It would be a shame to see it go to waste and if the council came in and showed some support or helped to find a solution we would stay here with the greatest of pleasure.”

A Warwickshire County Council spokesman said: “The county council is committed to delivering high standards in maintaining and improving Warwickshire’s highway network.

"We look to minimise the delay or disruption to motorists. The county council seeks to co-ordinate all works that are undertaken, and aim to have them carried out when traffic flows are lighter.

“So whilst we sympathise with this business, it is outlandish to suggest that highways work is the cause of this shop moving premises. "There are many other factors to take into account including trading conditions such as the weather we have had in recent months and the recession."

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Buy photos» The traditonal shop contains most of its original fixture and fittings. Picture by Jon Mullis 39.012.001.leam.jm13 (www.buyphotos247.com)

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Buy photos» The Warwick shop faces closure after more than a century serving the community. Picture by Jon Mullis 39.012.001.leam.jm11 (www.buyphotos247.com)

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