Sunday, 26 September 2021

Antiques dealer closes shop to take it easy

AN antiques shop in Wargrave has closed after almost 40 years in the village.

AN antiques shop in Wargrave has closed after almost 40 years in the village.

John Connell, who ran Wargrave Antiques in High Street, has given up the business in order to take it easy.

The 79-year-old has lived in High Street since 1978 and first opened the shop as Mill Green Antiques in the premises of an old sweet shop and neighbouring chemist.

He later moved the business, and his home, to the current premises further along the street.

Initially his business partner Kate Chate ran the shop while Mr Connell worked for the Inland Revenue in London by day and sold antiques in the shop in the evenings and at weekends.

He later gave up his job in the capital to work full-time in the shop. His son Greg said: “It was a job that he never considered to be a ‘job’ because he loved it so much.”

In the Nineties Mr Connell expanded the business when he took over the old Richardson’s butcher’s shop in High Street. He used the ground floor of the shop and several rooms upstairs as well as opening a large showroom in the back yard.

Five years ago he sold off the showroom to a neighbour, partly to make the shop more “manageable” as he got older. A closing down sale was held at the shop earlier this summer and there was also an auction of the remaining items with 50 per cent of the profits donated to dementia charity Parkinson’s UK.

Mr Connell Jnr said: “After looking after most of the villagers’ antique requirements for all these years, and as he turned 79 this January, he has decided that it is time to take the weight off his feet and rest.

“He wishes to thanks all his customers, some of whom bought things off him 25 years ago when they were upsizing and had young families and have recently been downsizing as their children have grown up and moved away, selling back to John the same pieces of furniture!

“He has absolutely loved running the shop and doing deliveries but most of all he has loved meeting people and helping people.”

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