Hartlepool wool specialist shop celebrates 70 years in business as manager vows to keep going

The boss of a shop which is celebrating 70 years in business has vowed: “I’ll keep going as long as I can.”

Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:45 am

Manager Vivienne Chandler, 79, is “very proud” that Bobby Davison The Wool and Needlework Specialists Shop, in Park Road, Hartlepool, has continued for so long and has thanked customers for their continued support.

The shop used to sell mainly ladies’ wear and underwear until Vivienne’s mother, Susanna Davison, bought it in 1951.

Susanna, known as Bobby, renamed it from Miss WIlkinson’s to Bobby Davison’s and later switched the focus of the store so it started specialising in wool.

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Vivienne Chandler inside of her Park Road wool shop./Photo: Frank Reid

Vivienne, 79, said: "We came in on July 12 – the day I was nine.

"I remember when we first started getting the fashion shops in town, my mother stopped selling some of these things and went on to strictly selling wool and haberdashery. “

Vivienne, who has worked at the shop all her life, is determined to keep it going.

The grandmother-of-one said: "We’ve had our rough times, we’ve had our good times.

Daughter Clair Chandler during a fashion show held at the Town Hall, Hartlepool, during the 1960s. by FRANK REID

"I’m very proud. I’ll keep going as long as I can. We’ve had a lot of nice customers, we’ve had very good support from the local community and also in the surrounding areas over the years.”

She continued: "We’ve had times when we’ve had to go out and try and collect in money from people who’ve had goods from us, so that was quite an experience.

"We used to do fashion shows in the 80s. We used to go to the town hall and I used to go around the women’s guilds and do talks about wool and the differences in yarns.”

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Chris Chandler with daughter Clair during a fashion show held at the Town Hall (right).

Vivienne, from the Park area road of town, added: "I’ve had a roller coaster of a life and I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve learned so much.

"I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve known over the years and the characters I’ve known over the years. It’s been very good to me.”

Earlier this month another veteran business owner Jimmy Gettings, who has La Mirage picture framing shop, in the town’s Alma Street, announced that he was going to retire later this year around the time of his 82nd birthday.

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