Dereham department store will be a part of businessman’s legacy to town

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Pictured are (from left) Bridgette Hall, Christine Todd and

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Pictured are (from left) Bridgette Hall, Christine Todd and Debbie Bennington. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The wait was finally over as a new department store nearly a year after its predecessor closed.

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Official opening of Chattels in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Chattels of Dereham is the legacy of businessman Basil Todd who died earlier this year and his daughters were determined to see his final project through to completion.

Bridgette Hall and her sister Debbie Bennington have worked to transform the former Palmers store, in Norwich Road, into their father's vision while also spending time with him during his cancer battle.

Mrs Hall said: 'This is a project that our father started and we have finished it off for him.

'We hope it is a site that we can grow and expand into the building site next door.'

Basil Todd, picture; Matthew Usher.

Basil Todd, picture; Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher


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Mrs Bennington said: 'It has been a tough few months having to do it in such a short space of time, and while dad was ill, but it was his wish to get it done.'

An eager crowd waited outside the store on Saturday morning to see the ribbon cut by Mr Todd's widow Christine.

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Chattels sells a range of clothing brands as well as serving food and drink in an upstairs cafe.

Mrs Bennington said: 'I think it is what Dereham needs.

'There is something for everyone.

'We want people to come here instead of feeling they have got to go to Norwich to get certain things.'

More than £300,000 has been invested in redeveloping the interior of the building and once thing shave settled down there are plans to expand further.

Mrs Hall said: 'We have made dad's dreams a reality.

'He didn't need to do this at all but he wanted to do something for the town.

'He has had businesses in the town and the area since 1989, he cared about Dereham.'

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