End of an era for Felixstowe shops

IT IS the end of an era in Felixstowe with one of its oldest and most familiar buildings set to be demolished to make way for a new development.

IT IS the end of an era in Felixstowe with one of its oldest and most familiar buildings set to be demolished to make way for a new development.

The building in St Andrew's Road has been home to an antique shop, a kitchen company, a hair salon and a sandwich shop in the last two decades.

Before that it had a colourful history as a ship's chandlery and a mortuary.

But now the premises are set to be demolished and replace with six modern shops with flats above, and possibly offices at the rear.

However, it means the businesses which currently occupy the building are having to close or move to new premises.

Jens and Janet Skaarud , who have run Norsk Antiques for 24 years, have closed their shop, which grew from a small removals business they bought after he was made redundant.

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Mr Skaarud said: “I decided I would not work for anyone else again, and would work for myself.

“We were doing the removals for about a year and people kept giving me bits and pieces they didn't want, and I found I could sell them and there was a little niche in the market.

“Really the business grew from there and soon we had an antique shop.

“It's been a good business over the years but recently it has changed and now some of the older furniture you cannot give away - people want modern stuff. Internet auction sites and these television programmes about auctions and antiques has made everyone an expert.

“In many ways it's a shame that the building is going because it has been part of Felixstowe for so long, but times change and new developments come along.”

Mr Skaarud, 64, who is taking semi-retirement and will still dabble in sales, said the shop regularly helped the Salvation Army and would be giving the remainder of its furniture to charity.

Hair salon Tailored Cutz, which has been in the building 22 years, is moving further down St Andrew's Road to a new shop.

Owner Heidi Taylor , who started as a trainee at the shop and returned to take it over six years ago, said the move would allow her to expand her business to hair and beauty.

She said “I think it is sad that the building is going because it has had a colourful history.”

What do you think to the changes to the site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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