Sadness at end of an era for Queen Street business

Posted on 06th December 2019 | in Community

It is the end of an era at 42 Queen Street. The business will close on 31 December. It is with a degree of sadness on our part, but retirement calls.

Richard Wardman and Ann Burke of 42 Queen Street are retiring

Richard bought Jean Furness Florist in 1989, a business I had worked in for eight years. Hard times followed for a few years.

We became The Flower Centre in 1999, and due to contract work with the floristry side of the business, we looked for larger premises. In 2003 we purchased the property then Nina Louise, and a unit on the Industrial Estate. Life was very busy and we found ourselves regularly working seven days a week 52 weeks a year for almost five years. It was somewhat of a semi retirement when we sold off the floristry side of the business and we concentrated on cards and gifts.

We have seen lots of changes on Queen Street over the last 30 years. Closure of large shops and multi nationals, banks and the introduction of traffic wardens, none of these being very positive for the community life in Amble.

We have seen a reduction in local residents shopping on the street and an increase in tourist trade, consequently stock had to change with this move in customer.

We have, over the years, tried to support as many organisations as possible. It was a great disappointment to me to be the instigator of the Puffin Festival, only to end up in hospital just before the opening of the first one, I did have a Puffin sat on the end of my bed though.

I have been Chair of Amble Business Club for several years and my biggest campaign has been a car park for the a Town Centre, which I think is key to the prosperity of the Town.

Unfortunately after hundreds of hours of meetings and a 3000 name petition I have not been able to achieve that. I have found it very difficult dealing with local authorities who appear to have a resentment to local business, which to my mind is detrimental to the local community.

“My proudest moment: Amble being awarded the best Coastal Community High Street”

I have been on the group of the Market Towns Initiative, the Harbour Village project, and the proudest moment, Amble being awarded the best Coastal Community High Street in 2015. I have enjoyed working with Amble Development Trust, who, like it or loathe it, the projects are keeping the town alive.

We would like to thank everyone, the community, customers and colleagues, far and wide who have supported The Flower Centre and 42 Queen Street over the last 30 years.

We wish the business community of Amble much prosperity in the future and hope the Town goes from strength to strength with everyone working together for both community and tourism.

Ann Burke and Richard Wardman, the happy pensioners.!!!!

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