Customers rally round shopkeeper and raise hundreds of pounds to replace window smashed by thieves

A newsagent in Penwortham has been 'overwhelmed' with support from customers after his shop was raided by thieves.

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th November 2018, 1:45 pm
Brian Thompson and his sister Maria Taylor

Thompson's Newsagents in Manor Lane was raided on Monday after thieves smashed the shop's front window with a rock.

It is the latest in a series of raids targeting the shop, which have caused hundreds of pounds of damage.

Shop owner Brian Thompson said he was considering closing the shop for good due to the stress of the raids.

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Brian Thompson and his sister Maria Taylor

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Penwortham newsagent could close shop for good after a series of smash and grab ...

In just one day, over 75 well wishers donated over £800 to help the beleaguered shopkeeper replace the broken window.

The additional money will be used to install CCTV outside the shop.

The fundraising campaign to help Brian replace the damaged window and door has already raised more than double it's target.

The shop's window and Christmas display was destroyed in the latest raid.

Brian said he has been 'overwhelmed' by support from his customers and the wider community.

He said: "It's really incredible. I'm so touched by people's kindness and generosity.

"I was feeling so raw, angry and hurt. But the kindness and support shown by everyone has really lifted me.

"I'm just overwhelmed. It's really reassuring to realise how much people really care. It makes you want to soldier on."

The fundraising was kicked off by former customer Claire Stringer, who now lives in Clitheroe.

Speaking to the Lancashire Post, Claire said: "I was so upset when I read that he was targeted in August but this second time reduced me to tears.

"On the scale of lovely people you wish to meet, Brian is right up there at the top. He greets most folk by name and he's always chucking a couple of extra sweets in for free.

"He's just lovely. I live In Clitheroe now, after 40 years in Penwortham. I saw the Lancashire Post article so knew I just had to do something.

"Penwortham folk look out for each other and the incredible amount donated just reiterates that.

"I was only asking for £1 donations as I know how everyone struggles at the end of the month. I just facilitated the event. The good folk of Penwortham made it happen.

"These acts of kindness just make me happy and hopefully will make Brian happy again too."

The popular shopkeeper, who has been battling bladder cancer, has received encouragement from hundreds of customers and well wishers.

Lynn Muir, a regular customer, said: "Brian is such a lovely man. I was very sad to hear the shop had been broken into again. It would be a real loss to the community if he had to close the shop permanently. Sending best wishes to you Brian."

Another loyal customer wrote on Facebook: "Oh Brian we would be lost with you. You are a massive part of the community. Don’t let some young nasty people ruin your fantastic place."

If you'd like to help Brian, you can make a donation here.