End of an era as long-established North Walsham shop closes

Ann Farrow outside Robin Farrow electrical store in North Walsham which is closing and is one of the

Ann Farrow outside Robin Farrow electrical store in North Walsham which is closing and is one of the town's longest-established independent shops. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

One of North Walsham's oldest independent shops is set to close.

Over the decades thousands of people in north Norfolk have bought or rented televisions, video recorders and other electrical goods from Robin Farrow.

And many will have had faulty electrical items repaired by Mr Farrow, 79, or his son Simon, 48.

But after nearly 80 years, including some 50 in the Farrow family, the shutters are set to come down on the Mundesley Road electrical business because of Simon's ill health.

Robin Farrow, an electronic technician, went into partnership with the shop's former owner, Herbert Gaskin, in 1965 and took over the business on Mr Gaskin's retirement two years later.

At first the shop dealt in black and white TV sets but, as technology advanced, it moved into the colour TV market and also sold radios, aerials, video recorders, and white goods.

Robin Farrow remembers when colour TVs first hit the market and sold 'like hot cakes'.

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He had trained as an electronic engineer in the RAF and used his skills to repair faulty sets.

But, as TVs became more reliable and supermarkets started selling them too, that trade dropped off.

The Farrows expanded their range, and at one stage started selling fishing tackle as well, a hobby enjoyed by both father and son.

Robin's wife Ann had always taken both the couple's children along with her when she was helping at the shop and Simon grew up knowing the business thoroughly.

He studied electronics at college in Norwich and went into partnership with his father.

As well as sales, they repaired equipment ranging from car audio to hi-fi, satellite systems and aerials, either at customers' homes or in their workshop.

Although remaining a partner in the business and continuing to handle its accounts, Robin Farrow stepped back from the shop 25 years ago and it has been run ever since by Mrs Farrow and Simon.

They are selling the final few items in stock and will then close.

Mr Farrow said: 'I want to thank all our customers for supporting us over the years.'

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