Villagers raise £445,000 to save 141 year old ironmongers that has defied the DIY giants
A traditional ironmonger has been saved by loyal villagers who raised £445,000 to stop the 141-year-old ‘Open All Hours’ store from closing.
Havards ironmongers in the small seaside village of Newport, Pembrokeshire, faced shutting down in June this year after its owners announced they were selling the shop.
The old-fashioned hardware store sells everything from fishing gear to camping kits and household goods and has miraculously survived the threat from giant DIY stores.
Villagers sprung to action to keep the store which they say is now the first community-owned hardware store in the whole of Britain, open.
Havards ironmongers in Newport, Pembrokeshire, opened for the first time 140 years ago. Early this year it became under threat of closure prompting villagers to gather together and raise £445,000 to save the much-loved store. Pictured: Havards in the 1950s (left) and today (right)
A community share offer was launched by the local community in June. The village of 1,200 people raised £445,000 with the community group announced completion of the purchase just days ago.
Delighted fundraiser Clive Hooper said: ‘This last week has been frantic with contracts, legal conference calls, IT, Marketing, job interviews and paperwork in preparation to exchange contracts and move to ownership.
‘I truly wish to thank everyone who has helped and invested in keeping this last traditional ironmonger’s shop trading in our community here.
‘We are ready for Christmas and have a great and wonderful set of gift and activities over December.’
Clive Hooper, who worked in Havards ironmonger, decided to start the fundraiser. He pledged to ensure that the shop would remain ‘at the heart of the community’
People in the small seaside village of 1,200 were offered the chance to buy £200 worth of shares to save the historic shop from closure. Pictured: Villagers trying to raise funds for Havards earlier this year
The building dates back to 1840 and is a popular stop for locals and tourists who are pop in for last-minute beach supplies.
Families were offered the chance to buy £200 shares to save the stone-fronted shop in the small high street.
The historic shop has been trading in the town since 1881 – and is described as a ‘lifeblood of the village from days now long gone’.
Mr Hooper at the time said: ‘This is an opportunity for residents of Newport and the local area as well as visitors and friends wherever they may be, to be a part of the future of the town helping to preserve a unique example of a shop that can provide almost everything you need, right on your doorstep.’
The shop sells everything from fishing gear to camping kits and household goods – even Christmas trees
The funds raised from the campaign will be used to buy the building and the shop’s stock. Pictured: A large selection of mugs on sale at the store
Havards offered a wide range of everyday items including hand tools, nails and screws, key cutting, cookware and crockery, gardening equipment and stationary (pictured) for 141 years
The fund will be used to buy the building and the shop’s stock – as well as to provide set-up funds and working capital.
There was a minimum shareholding at £200 and a maximum shareholding of £33,000.
Havards offered a wide range of everyday items including hand tools, nails and screws, key cutting, cookware and crockery, gardening equipment for 141 years.
Mr Hooper (pictured left) fundraising to save the store earlier this year. Locals feared that if no one bought the shop it could be closed and the site sold for other uses
The building dates back to 1840 and is a popular stop for locals and tourists who are pop in for last-minute beach supplies
The share offer was priced at a minimum shareholding at £200 and a maximum shareholding of £33,000
Locals feared that if no one bought the shop it could be closed and the site sold for other uses.
Mr Hooper pledged it would stay at the heart of the community.
He said: ‘We’re hosting an IT workshop for all your broken mobile phones, tablets and PCs on 14 December from 2pm to closing, shears to knife sharpening – time to get the turkey carving knife sharp in time for Christmas, joining the town Christmas Market & Treasure Hunt on 10 December with clues at Havards Community Shop while enjoying a mince pie and, for grown-ups, a glass of mulled wine too.’