‘The day the music died’: Lowestoft music shop Morlings closes after 120 years of trade

19:46 30 June 2012

Morlings music shop in Lowestoft is closing down after 120 years of Business in the town. Owner Richard Morling.   Picture: Nick Butcher

Morlings music shop in Lowestoft is closing down after 120 years of Business in the town. Owner Richard Morling. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

It was a case of the ‘day the music died’ at the weekend when a Lowestoft music shop folded after 120 years of business.

The Morlings music store, on London Road South, received a fond farewell on Saturday, with hundreds of people playing music and sharing memories before its doors closed for the final time.

The unharmonius end came when owner, Richard Morling, was forced to bow to the financial pressures caused by the company’s ever-mounting pension fund.

But there is hope a new music shop will open in Lowestoft soon, after Morlings’ employee Peter Lister expressed his interest at launching a guitar shop.

Speaking during the final hours before closing, Mr Morling told of his pride and sadness of having to close a store deemed an institution.

The 75-year-old, and grandson of the founder Ernest Morling, said: “There are so many people who have come in and said how wonderful the shop has been over the years.

“People have been sharing their experiences about what they bought, and various bands have come in who have had their instruments from us in the past.

“What has been so significant is that people have been saying how sorry they are to hear we are closing, but they are not blaming us for it.

“I suppose we have been here 120 years in the town, but now it is going to be the case that this music shop is not here any more.”

Based in London Road South, the business has been run by three generations of the Morling family since it was set up in Old Nelson Street, Lowestoft, in 1892.

The shop relocated several times over the years and battled back from three German bombing raids in the second world war – including one in which its founder died – and recovered from a massive fire in March 1981 to make sure local music lovers had top quality instruments and records.

But Mr Moorling said fulfilling the demands of the company’s pension fund and obtaining a credit agreement from the Office of Fair Trading was not financially viable – forcing him to close.

He added: “I would like to express my very sincere thanks to all the staff of Morlings over the years, for the way that they have assisted the customers in their purchases.

“They have generated an exceedingly good name for us in the town. I would especially like to thank my current staff for their co-operation and understanding during recent months – their knowledge and expertise has been second to none.”

Among, the store’s customers were Justin and Dan Hawkins, of Lowestoft rockers The Darkness, who bought their first guitars from Morlings when they started out.


  • typical consumers of today lets download a mp3 file from I-Snoonzetunes

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    banned user

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

  • chebram71....yep, you have got it in one. Kids today are short changed when it comes to music. They place on high "stars" who hit the big time because how they look on a so called talent show & not because of a true talent. Fewer kids today bother to take up an instrument because they are all "singers" & just want the fame and fortune without the hard work. Those who do hone a skill on an instrument usually end up playing the local pub scene for years to come. How comes the bands never get a look in? There are some absolutely excellent bands on the local scene that will never be given a chance. No more talent scouts since xfactor, the voice, etc took over. Simon Cowell should be tried as an enemy of the state....

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    Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • How sad...I remember all of the various instruments I played as a youngster (some time ago!!) being purchased here...lovely store and a real loss to Lowestoft :(

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    Monday, July 2, 2012

  • This is a terrible shame, as Morlings have been in my life for decades, preceded by parents (born 1918 and early 1920's), grandparents (1872-1899-1901) and great grandparents. At least I have boxes full of sheet music and hundreds of 78's marked "Morlings - the House of Music" to remember it by. It would have been better if it had been able to keep going.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

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