Beccles wool shop weaves its way to a magical milestone
- Credit: Nick Butcher
An independent Beccles business is celebrating 50 years in the town, and friends Janet Holt and Joan Moore still enjoying every minute behind the counter.
The duo took over The Needlecraft Shop in Station Road in 2001, having worked for the previous owners and both with a love of knitting.
The shop was previously a grocery store until the original owner Wynn Baldry realised her dreams to open up a wool shop in the town in 1967.
Ros and Douglas Cousins then took over in the early 1980s, before it was passed to Mrs Holt and Mrs Moore.
Mrs Holt said: 'Between us we have clocked up a lot of years. But for us it is a hobby as well as a job.'
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The duo said it was a big step going from working a few days a week to being full time, but that with their experience, and the support of four members of staff, it has continued to be a success.
'There are not many wool shops about anymore but this is a real knitting shop,' said Mrs Moore.
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'We have lots of regular customers who we couldn't survive without, and we do get holidaymakers who come to find us every year.'
Mrs Holt and Mrs Moore met in their late teens while working at William Clowes printing works in Beccles and have been friends ever since.
And it is not just wool they stock; the shop has everything you need for tapestry, cross stitch, crocheting, card making and more.
They have been running knit and natter evenings four times a year for the past 15 years at the Quaker Hall in Beccles, with proceeds from each event donated to a local causes.
'We were only going to do one, but it was so popular people asked us to keep doing them,' said Mrs Holt.
'Everyone loves them and we have some ladies who have lost their husbands who come and it gives then a trip out.'
Local causes to benefit over the years include Beccles Hospital, the lido and local Brownie and Scout groups, with around £5,000 raised over the years.
The women also create special window displays on a monthly basis and will soon be unveiling a display for their anniversary.