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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Landmark Cockermouth store for sale

One of Cockermouth’s most prominent businesses, which has been in the same family for more than 70 years, is being put up for sale.

Retiring: Cockermouth traders Paul and Hilary Carr are selling Firns Home Hardware

Firns Home Hardware, on Station Street, was opened by George Firn in 1939 and is now owned by son-in-law Paul Carr, who has had it for more than 30 years.

Mr Carr, 61, has decided to put the business up for sale as he plans to take retirement along with wife Hilary, 63, who also works at the store.

The move follows a series of family landmarks.

Mrs Carr recently got the all clear after she contracted breast cancer in February and went through months of radiotherapy.

The couple are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary today, and their first grandchild Amelie was born to daughter Rebecca Hawker nine weeks ago.

Mr Carr is looking for someone young and enthusiastic to take on Firns.

He said: “We hope to find a young couple because it helps when you are working together and hopefully they can develop the high standards of service.

“We have served the public all our working lives, so it is probably time we do something for ourselves for the very first time.

“When Hilary contracted breast cancer it brought everything home to us and made us have a total rethink of our lives.

“She has gone through all the treatments and come out the other side successfully.

“It gives you hope for the future and Hilary coped with it brilliantly.”

Mr Carr said there were no fixed plans for what they wanted to do in retirement but they had considered hiring a camper van to travel to parts of the UK they hadn’t visited.

He also hoped to write a book containing many of the anecdotes from his time working in the shop.

He added: “It will never be as good as the Two Ronnies’ Four Candles sketch but we have had some pretty funny moments over the years.

“We have a number of long standing loyal customers who have supported us through thick and thin and their children start to come here.

“They gradually become your friends and that is what you get in such a close knit community.”


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