It’s the end of an era as shop closes its doors

The Fenkle Street entrance to Forester's in Alnwick
The Fenkle Street entrance to Forester's in Alnwick

The curtain is about to come down on an Alnwick drapery shop which dates back more than 150 years.

Forester’s has occupied its Fenkle Street premises for 25 years, selling a whole range of fabrics, sewing materials and clothes.

But on Saturday, owner Paul Forester, who runs the business with his wife Sandra, will close up for the last time.

The shop’s history as a drapery business goes back to the mid-to-late 19th century.

“It was called Greens before we took it on so it’s got a lot of history,” said Paul.

“Although we’ve been there 25 years, it’s been going for more than 150 years as a drapery shop. It’s almost like a little department store.

“There will be a lot of people in Alnwick who remember it when it was Greens. We tried to carry on those traditions.”

Paul is taking retirement. Their Amble shop closed earlier this year.

“We were going to close last week but we had a lot of people coming in wanting this and that so we stayed open a little bit longer – but Saturday will be the end of it,” said Paul.

He himself is a third-generation draper, following in the footsteps of his father, Arthur, and grandfather, John, who started up the family business in the 1920s.

“My father, who is now 91, still worked in the shop until last year,” said Paul.

“He carried on from my grandfather after coming out of the Royal Navy following the Second World War.

“He was a travelling draper, so as well as running the shop, he would go all over Northumberland.”

Paul added: “We’ve been going 92 years. It’s a little bit of a shame that we aren’t going to make the century but we’ve got other things we want to do and retail is not easy anymore.

“We’d like to thank all our customers, past and present, who have supported us over the years.

“There are many who have been coming here for years and years but it was time to stop.”

The shop is now up for sale.