Elm Park’s oldest running shop to close after 63 years

PUBLISHED: 15:11 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:17 04 August 2020

Owner, Martin Sampson, of Elm Park's The Hobby Shop. Picture Mark Sepple

Owner, Martin Sampson, of Elm Park's The Hobby Shop. Picture Mark Sepple

Mark Sepple

Elm Park’s oldest shop is closing its doors after more than six decades.

Ron and Martin Sampson. Picture: Steve PostonRon and Martin Sampson. Picture: Steve Poston

The Hobby Shop’s current lease agreement ends in August and with the landlord asking for a rent increase, owner Martin Sampson said that staying open on the premises is no longer feasible.

Unrelated to the pandemic, he “knew it was coming” and, unable to find another affordable and suitable location, Martin will instead to edge towards retirement.

The DIY essentials store opened in 1957 and Martin’s father Ron Sampson began his working life as a Saturday boy before working his way up to store manager in 1962.

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By 1982, Ron had purchased the store from the original owners, the Trings, and started the Sampson family business.

Before long Ron’s youngest son Martin began helping out in the shop, learning the ropes and expanding the services offered.

By 1990, he had taken the reins and has now been the owner for the past 30 years, but said he is ready the next step as it is “time for a change”.

Martin’s niece Cara Nullmeyers said: “It is sad to say that these independent family stores are hard to come by these days and unfortunately The Hobby Shop is another one lost to the huge chain stores on the High Street.

“Although this is the end of an era, we would like to celebrate the store and thank the community that has supported us throughout the years, so please whether you are a regular customer or just a passer-by, stop and pop in on Saturday, August 29 to say goodbye for one final time.”

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