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Market ironmongers given new lease of life by retired grandma
A grandma has come out of retirement to give a 70-year-old hardware store a new lease of life.
The future of well-known Williams DIY at Queensgate Market was uncertain when owner Richard Chadwick decided to sell up.
The shop had been supplying tools and spares to Huddersfield folk since the days of the old market hall.
But the business will continue to serve the town’s DIY needs after it was bought by Bernadette Fanning, of Beaumont Park.
The shop, reopened as Queensgate Ironmongers on July 1, as Ms Fanning teamed up with brother Lem Lemanski, who worked at Williams for 30 years.
Ms Fanning, 61, said: “It was something I had always wanted to do when I retired. I always wanted a small shop and my family has a long history of working in the market. I used to work in the old Queensgate Market on the same floor as Williams.
“My dad and grandfather were both joiners and my uncle and younger brother were both engineers, so I was surrounded by hardware all my life.”
Ms Fanning, a retired librarian, believes there’s still a demand for small, traditional stores over DIY superstores.
She said: “I was overwhelmed by what people said when they heard the ironmonger was still going to be there.
“Some people don’t want to buy bags of nails; they just want one or two small items.
“I think people like the customer-focused service that you get. They like the personal contact.
“I suppose there’s some nostalgia too but we get everyone from students and young adults to the older generation.”
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