May 23 2013 Latest news:
By BEN WOODS
Saturday, June 30, 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.
Norfolk turkey giant Bernard Matthews is in talks to sell a stake in the business.