Brabin's Shop and Tea Room saved from closure

Brabin's, Chipping
Brabin's, Chipping

Britain’s longest trading shop will remain open as new tenants are to move in this week.

After months of speculation over the future of Brabin’s Shop and Tea Room, which has been at the heart of the community in Chipping for more than 300 years, new tenants are to take over on Friday.

Brabin's Tea Room

Brabin's Tea Room

Current tenant Roy Pinkett bought the business in April 2014, but due to his wife, Sharon’s ill health, they had to put it on the market.

The News reported last month that if no-one stepped forward the popular landmark would close.

But within a matter of weeks, new buyers struck a deal with owners Brabin’s Trust.

To ensure the shop and tea room remains open as usual, the Pinketts will vacate after trading on Thursday and the new tenants will resume services on Friday.

A spokesman for the trust said the new owners do not wish to be identified until they begin their duties, and are hoping for a smooth transition during the move.

It is expected a minor refurbishment with new decor and furnishings will be ongoing whilst the business continues trading.

The post office, which is currently on Monday and Thursday mornings, will also remain.

Kate Bailey, vice chairman of Brabin’s Trust, said: “I’m pleased to see the future of the shop is secure with new tenants moving in.

“It is great news that Brabin’s will still be the longest continuing trading shop in the country.”

Roy and Sharon took over the business, in Talbot Street, from Paul and Laura Hunt in 2014.

The couple moved from Nottingham as they were looking for a lifestyle change and fell in love with the tea room’s rustic charms and long history.

They had expanded the tea rooms and renovated the tranquil garden, installing a small petting area.

But as Sharon has found it increasingly hard to carry on working with her arthritis, they decided to sell up.

Roy, 57, said: “We have enjoyed our time here but with Sharon’s health we have had to move on.

“We are looking forward to the future. We will be taking it easy for a bit as I am semi retiring.

“We would like to thank everyone for their custom. We have made a lot of friends while we have been here. It’s a nice village and we will miss it.

“I am sure the new tenants will fit right in. They have experience in the trade and will keep the shop, tea room and post office open.”

The business, which is owned by Brabin’s Trust, was bought by Chipping wool merchant John Brabin in 1684 for the benefit of the community.

It has continued ever since as a shop and tea room and even has a small petting area.

In recent years, Sharon, 58, was pivotal in leading a campaign to keep the bus service in Chipping, following Lancashire County Council’s plans to cut subsidies.

In an 11th-hour move, the council agreed to provide funding for another year.

For a previous story on Brabin's click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/nation-s-oldest-shop-could-close-1-8343320