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Shop to shut after 66 years

PUBLISHED: 11:37 20 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

A HIGH street shop which has flourished since the 1930s is closing down after a health and safety inspection revealed thousands of pounds worth of rewiring is needed because the electrics are unsafe.

A HIGH street shop which has flourished since the 1930s is closing down after a health and safety inspection revealed thousands of pounds worth of rewiring is needed because the electrics are unsafe.

Wyevale's, the garden and pet shop in the centre of Stowmarket, is closing today after 66 years trading in the town.

A routine check by Mid Suffolk District Council has highlighted rewiring that needs to be carried out, at a cost of up to £10,000.

Wyevale's bosses have decided it is uneconomic to carry out the work and are closing the shop.

The shop employs four staff – a manager, deputy manager and two general assistants. One member of staff is taking redundancy after 15 years at the shop, with the others being offered positions at Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.

Mark Hudson, shop manager for seven years, is moving to the Ipswich store which he will run.

He said yesterday: "It's the end of an era and will leave a big gap in the town. It's come very suddenly upon us and we are all very sad to be going.''

The shop is owned by Wyevale's and its stock will now be transferred to other stores. Formally Cramphorn's from the 1930s, it was taken over by Wyevale's during the early 1990s.

Richard Wallis, chairman of the Stowmarket and District Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's a great shame to see a store like this go. They are an established firm and the shop has been there a long time.

"Hopefully somebody else will move in to the site now. It's a chance for another trader to come in to the town.''

Steve Rock, food and safety manager for Mid Suffolk District Council, said the electrics at the shop were unsafe.

He said: "The company got some contractors in to see what work was required.

"We did not close it down, we just asked for work to be done. If something is wrong at any place of work we will require work to be done. We have to protect the public, as do the garden centre.''

In an unrelated move Sketchley's dry cleaners is also closing in Stowmarket's town centre today.

Staff confirmed they will be closing but declined to expand on the reasons behind it.

Wyevale's have just three town centre shops, in Stowmarket, Ipswich and Braintree. The group also has 119 garden centres.

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