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Sweet shop owner John retires after 56 years
12:30pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
A SHOPKEEPER whose shop has been a fixture in Frinton’s famous Connaught Avenue for more than half a century has retired.
When John Richardson opened his sweet and card shop, Bambi, in the street in 1957, fellow traders doubted it would last more than a few months.
However, 56 years later, it is still there and still very much a confectionery fan’s paradise, with shelves of sweet jars stacked to the ceiling behind the counter.
Mr Richardson, 83, said he felt it was finally time to call it a day.
Originally from London, he moved to the north Essex coast when he decided to open a shop.
He said: “I wanted to open a sweet shop and I came to look around. I saw this shop was available and decided to go for it.
“Back then, there were quite a few empty shops and when I moved in, I was told I’d probably only last three months but here I am, all these years later.
“It’s quite rare to have one of these old-style independent sweet shops about these days. People still enjoy the novelty of it.
“I’ve always enjoyed it here.
One of my favourite aspects has been seeing customers grow up.
“Some of my original customers, who came in as teenagers, bring their children and grandchildren in to shop here.”
Mr Richardson said he had decided to give up because he was “slowing down a bit”.
He added: “There comes a time when you have to call it a day.
“I’m looking forward to taking it easy. I’ve put so much into the shop over the years and it’s time to find a hobby.”
Mr Richardson said Connaught Avenue had changed quite a lot over the years.
He explained: “Back when I started, people used to fly down C o n n a u g h t Avenue on bicycles, but it’s a far cry from that now.
“People fought against having a pub, and a fish and chip shop and about losing the old gates, but all of those changes happened eventually.
“This is all the natural progression of things.
“It may not be ‘the Bond Street of East Anglia’ any more, but it is still a lovely place and I’ll miss having a shop here.
“I’d like to thank all of my customers down the years for everything.”
A new trader has signed a lease and is due to take over the shop next week, reopening after a twoweek closure for refurbishment as Candy and Cakes.
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