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Felixstowe's Fabric8 shuts up shop after 70 years in business

PUBLISHED: 09:30 17 December 2014

Robert Bamberger with his late father Colin, who ran Fabric8 and its predecessors Dainty Homes and The Remnant Shop for 65 years.

Robert Bamberger with his late father Colin, who ran Fabric8 and its predecessors Dainty Homes and The Remnant Shop for 65 years.

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One of Felixstowe's oldest independent businesses is to shut up shop after serving the resort for 70 years.

The old Dainty Homes store in the 1970s - the Bamberger family also ran The Remnants Shop, later rebranded as Fabric8 in 2009.The old Dainty Homes store in the 1970s - the Bamberger family also ran The Remnants Shop, later rebranded as Fabric8 in 2009.

Fabric and haberdashery store Fabric8, which has also been known down the years as Dainty Homes and The Remnant Shop, will close its doors for the last time on January 31.

Owner Robert Bamberger said online shopping had caused a 30% drop in passing trade. He said: “We have experienced a revolution in shopping habits over the past five years.

“The high street, in general, is changing rapidly. People now come to town centres for social rather than commercial reasons.

“The pedestrianisation of Hamilton Road was perhaps the final straw, coming too early in the transition. Most observers would agree that the town centre has lost its buzz as a direct result.

The Fabric8 shop in Felixstowe is set to close in January after 70 years in the town.The Fabric8 shop in Felixstowe is set to close in January after 70 years in the town.

“Dainty Homes and Fabric8 has been a permanent fixture in Felixstowe for a long time, so it was a very tough decision.

“But times change and so must we. I would like to thank all our customers, our dedicated staff and suppliers for their support over the years.”

The business was an unlikely legacy of wartime Britain. It was launched in 1944 when Robert’s grandmother, Betty Bamberger, began selling lace doilies, antimacassars and other table linen from the stairwell of her upstairs flat in Hamilton Road, using her lounge as a “showroom”.

It soon made them sufficient money to rent a shop.

Betty’s son, Colin, took over the business and ran it for 65 years until his death at the age of 84 in 2012.

Customers will in future still be able to buy Fabric8’s full range of fabrics, yarns and haberdashery at its branch in Head Street, Colchester, or online at www.fabric8online.co.uk and all vouchers and reward cards from the Felixstowe branch will be honoured by the Colchester store. Saxon Upholstery, in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, run by Clive Bamberger, will also be stocking a small selection of haberdashery items.

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