Home Hardware and DIY set to close at the end of August

Owner Phillip Hemming outside Home Hardware and DIY in Burnham's High Street Pciture: Mark Newman

Owner Phillip Hemming outside Home Hardware and DIY in Burnham's High Street Pciture: Mark Newman - Credit: Mark Newman

One of a seaside town’s oldest shops is set to close at the end of the month when the owner retires.

Phillip Hemming, who has run Home Hardware in Burham's High Street for 24 years with his wife, Jill, said he has 'finally had to admit defeat' and will close the shop for good at the end of August.

The store sells all manner of housewares and hardware, from pots and pans to paint and planes.

In a statement Mr Hemming said: "It is with deep regret I announce I have finally had to admit defeat on the battle to keep the shop open.

"Due to circumstances beyond my control the business will close down at the end of August.

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"I am now past retirement age and wish to have a few years of relaxation.

"I wish to take this opportunity to firstly thank my loyal staff who have stuck by me through uncertainty of redundancy while negotiations took place over the last 12 months, especially to my manager Darren, who came to the shop on work experience with the previous owner more than 30 years ago and has been with me for the 24 years of my tenure.

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"All of the staff will become unemployed at the end of August."

Graham Jones of Major Motors had offered to purchase the business as both parties 'desperately wished for the business to continue for the benefit of the town.'

However after six months of negotiations the pair failed to strike a deal due to 'extreme obstacles'.

Mr Hemming said he was offered a deal on July 8 but refused to take it as the terms and conditions 'ensured financial suicide.'

He said: "We have finally had to admit defeat, having both run up solicitors bills.

"The business could not have been a success without the loyalty of all my customers and I wish them a fond farewell and thank them for sticking with me throughout much local competition.

"It has been great fun for me most of the time."

A Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman said 'the store and staff will be greatly missed'.

They added: "Home Hardware has been a popular and much-valued business in Burnham's town centre for several decades where super customer service has always been at the core of what Phil and his team have offered."

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