THE END OF AN ERA
PUBLISHED: 15:59 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 August 2010
A WELL-KNOWN furniture shop that has served the borough for more than 100 years is to close because the owners are retiring. Baldwin and Son, in Perry Street, Northfleet, which opened in the 1890s, will stop trading on New Year s Eve, also forcing the cl
A WELL-KNOWN furniture shop that has served the borough for more than 100 years is to close because the owners are retiring.
Baldwin and Son, in Perry Street, Northfleet, which opened in the 1890s, will stop trading on New Year's Eve, also forcing the closure of a Post Office located inside the store.
Ray and Linda Lewis, from Culverstone, took over ownership of the store 23 years ago, from Linda's father, Bill Coshall, who was partners with Reg and Harold Baldwin.
Mr Lewis, 62, said: "We have really enjoyed serving in Perry Street.
"It is a special area, full of nice people and we are actually very sorry to be leaving, but both my wife and I feel it is time for us to retire. The last 20 years here have been great."
In May 1998 the store was gutted by fire, with the loss of all the stock. The business was run from a Portakabin in the backyard while it was steadily rebuilt. Fire investigators never established the cause of the fire. The couple also run the Post Office situated in the store which is to be closed next month, leaving residents in the area without a nearby service.
Resident Margaret Smith, of Nelson Road, Gravesend said: "This is the last Post Office in Northfleet. There has always been a post office in Perry Street. Most people that use it are pensioners or people with young children.
"We keep being told to do all of these things through the Post Office, but soon we won't have one."
A Post Office Ltd spokesperson said: "The subpostmaster at Perry Street Post Office is retiring and the branch will therefore close temporarily.
"We are committed to providing a Post Office service in this area and are actively seeking a replacement. Anyone interested should contact Agency Recruitment on 0845 6016260."
This Saturday the store is due to hold a clearance sale.