Here’s a fantastic place. I don’t know what it is about hardware shops but I love them. They’re always stuffed to bursting with really interesting things, many of which I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with. This one even sells all sorts of plants and offers a dry-cleaning service which is more than its Fleetsbridge competitor, B & Q, does. And the vast and cold B & Q doesn’t have that strange, welcoming smell of hardware shops that always evokes vague but comforting childhood memories. But wait! What’s that sign in the window? Better take a closer look.
NO! Surely this can’t be true? Is Upton to lose this cherished treasure trove? Sadly, this seems to be a fait accompli. The current owner is moving to Somerset to be near his family and the shop and flat above is being sold as a going concern. There’s been a hardware store on this site for over forty years and the peasants are revolting. (Sorry, Upton residents…you are neither peasants or revolting but trouble is brewing).
Here’s Pauline and Becky. You don’t want to mess with these two. I asked Pauline if she was a local but she said ‘no’, having only lived in Upton for 37 years. She moved from the bright lights of London and has worked at the hardware store for fifteen years.
Becky, her partner in crime, came down from Cumbria with her husband who was a Royal Marine over at the base at Rockley. Actually, ‘was’ is an incorrect word according to Pauline who claims they never stop being a marine. To prove her point, the nameless husband is now the civillian bar manager down at the camp.
But, back to the closure of the shop. Pauline and Becky, along with a customer who became embroiled in our discussion, claim that cutomers are in uproar. A lynch mob is forming and there’s a threat of a public hanging ‘or worse’. I don’t know what ‘worse’ means but if you know of anyone who wants to buy a hardware store, let Upton Eyes know about it. Save the jobs of these youngsters and save this tremendous asset for Upton.