Chorley corner shop owners say farewell after 40 years serving the community

The owners of a corner shop will shut the front door for the very last time after nearly 40 years in the business on Friday.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:45 pm
Graham and Susan Makinson

Graham and Susan Makinson are retiring from the Devonshire Road shop after almost 40 years at the premises.

The shop - called Makinsons - has been a focal point of the community for so many people

Just over a year ago, folk rallied round the popular couple when the shop was robbed.

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The shop on Devonshire Road

An online gofundme page was set up to raise £1,000 to cover the cost of the break in..

Hard working Graham, 66, and Susan, 67, have been there since 1982.

A tearful Susan said: "It's very difficult. I think it's very mixed emotions. We've come to a stage in our life where we have to slow down a bit.

"But after so long in business doing what we do and the friendships we've made . . .

"We have so many customers who have been so lovely. People say they appreciate us, but in turn we've been lucky to meet so many people who have been nice to us."

Susan said despite the sadness of leaving, it was an exciting new chapter in their lives.

"We've got nine grandchildren and I'll probably get more into my garden.

"Eventually I'm going to do voluntary work at the hospital - I was a trained nurse before.

"For Graham, it's harder for men.

"It's going to be a massive change after what we've been doing. It's not all hunky dory but we have to accept life changes

"It's a new chapter to look forward to.

"What we've done is by graft. We took it over as a closed business.

"We've had a good business - a good life.

"We've got a very supportive family. We couldn't have done it without them, Our five children are a credit to us.

"We'll miss the people, especially the one's we've made friends with. But we live locally and will still see them."

Their daughter Zoe Hale paid tribute to her mum and dad.

She said: "They moved there with two babies in tow over thirty nine years ago and went on to have three more children whilst keeping the business going.

"As a family we lived in a flat above the shop for many years before moving out to a house close by.

"Mum and dad have been there for many people in the community and will be very much missed.

"They weren't just shopkeepers, they were personal shoppers, delivery drivers, nurses, confidants, carers and lots, lots more.

"Their customers knew that they could count on mum and dad for anything they needed, nothing was too much trouble.

"Despite being in their late 60's they continued to work through the pandemic and quickly adjusted to this new way of working, making sure that their elderly and vulnerable customers didn't need to leave the house - they were only a phone call away.

"Not only did they get goods from their own shop, but they were frequently shopping in town at the supermarkets to make sure that everybody got just what they asked for and at no extra cost.

"They intend to carry on with this care in the community because this is what they do."