Special commendation for coastal high-street traders

Ann Burke and Richard Wardman from 42 Queen Street. Picture courtesy of The Ambler
Ann Burke and Richard Wardman from 42 Queen Street. Picture courtesy of The Ambler

Two Amble traders have received a special recognition commendation from the Great British High Street Awards.

Ann Burke and Richard Wardman, of the shop 42 Queen Street, had been nominated for an accolade for the nation’s best managers of an independent shop.

Unfortunately they didn’t win, but their achievements have not gone unrecognised.

In a letter, Andrew Percy MP, chairman of the Future High Street Forum, and Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse, said: ‘We wish to recognise and commend you for your long-standing commitment to the town and its prosperity.

‘It is inspiring to hear how you have helped others in making funding applications which have aided Amble’s regeneration and how your enthusiasm has encouraged other people to become involved in the community.

‘I also recognise the contribution that 42 Queen Street has made to Amble’s day-time economy, bringing people into the town.’

Describing itself on its Facebook page as ‘Northumberland’s one-stop present shop’, 42 Queen Street stocks a range of items, such as cards, balloons, jewellery, soft toys and other gifts.

Ann, who is also chairman of Amble Business Club, said: “We have worked in a business on Queen Street for 30 years.

“When you work in a small rural community, working together and supporting each other brings your high street together and makes for a good retail experience.

“Over the years, Amble has had to deal with a lot of diversification.

“Richard and I are humbled to have been granted this commendation and are thrilled that it is another honour for our great coastal high street.”

In November 2015, it was announced that Amble had won the Coastal Community category of The Great British High Street Awards. It beat off competition from Prestatyn and Bognor Regis.

A public vote was key to helping Amble take the title, while a judges’ verdict was also crucial. A crack-team of industry experts visited the town and were impressed by the collaboration between local businesses and the new Harbour Village development.

As a result of winning, the town bagged a share of an £80,000 prize fund, among other rewards.