New Norfolk lamp shop brings a brighter future for Andy
- Credit: James Bass
Throughout his life, Andy Green worked across the globe on billion pound engineering projects, leading a team as a senior construction manager.
A year ago, however, his world changed after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and terminal lung cancer and told he had three to six months to live.
The diagnosis meant he had to leave his jobs, but it also gave him the opportunity to focus on his passion and secure his ambition to open his own business, specialising in antique and vintage lighting.
Twelve months on from his diagnosis the 53-year-old can now be found in his shop, The Lamp Locker, on Bells Road, in Gorleston, where he sells lamps, many of which are original pieces that he has lovingly crafted in his Somerleyton workshops.
And after just a few weeks he is already doing a roaring trade and attracting the interest of passing customers who come in to gaze at the unique illuminations on display.
Mr Green, a dad of two, said: 'This is something I have been passionate about for a long while, I love lamps and antiques and furniture.
'I'd been looking for a shop for about three years off and on and when this all kicked off with my health problems, suddenly you're forced into something and you have to change your outlook and what you are going to do. So this has transpired from that.'
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Among the items in the shop are some of Mr Green's handcrafted pieces, including a lamp made from a re-configured 1908 dentist's drill, topped with a shade dating from 1910.
Alongside the bespoke lighting pieces Mr Green also sells antiques and handmade furniture, more of which will be added to the shop in coming weeks.
All of the pieces date from between 1900 and 1950 and the vintage feel of the shop is complemented by the stripped wooden floor and original paint work.
Mr Green discovered his love for antique lighting while working as a draughtsman and since then he has never switched.
'As a draughtsman and engineer, you need to be able to have enough light to see what you're drawing,' he added.
'You buy a modern lamp and then you see what some of these [antique pieces] can throw out – the brightness they give you is second to none, it becomes a passion.'
Among some of his favourite items are a pair of Dugdill lamps, which he rescued from the scrap heap and now uses to light up his desk.
Mr Green's unique creations are now catching the eye of architects and interior designers, but for some interested customers it is not just the lights that have sparked their interest.
While preparing the shop he unearthed a pile of old wooden doors and rather than throw them out, he decided to turn them into a decorative feature by pinning them up and creating a wall of doors.
'That has had so much attention,' he added. 'I have had people coming from Holt, Woodbridge and Ipswich to look at it.'
The shop is currently open three days a week, with Mr Green spending his free time in the workshop, at a sale or auction or 'scoping around trying to find something that's unusual', and there are already plans to extend the business into the next door unit with a website going live in the next three weeks.
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