Shop Museum in Wrentham opens its doors in north Suffolk

A celebration of local corner shops from between 50 and 80 years ago has been featured this weekend in a rarely opened north Suffolk museum.

On Saturday afternoon, the Shop Museum in Wrentham, near Lowestoft, opened its doors to curious visitors for several hours.

The shop has thousand of items on display with brands such as Drakes Soft Drinks, Hudson's Soaps, Flit bug killer, Reckitts Bag Blue (used to whiten clothes in the washing), Aladdin Blue Flame wicks and Zebra grate polish.

There are also earlier versions of well known brands today, such as Oxo and Persil in eye-catching packaging, vintage shop equipment such as weighing scales and a delivery bike, and also ration books and old currency.

The Shop Museum is run by Ronnie and Rosie Carter, who live in Wrentham and set up the site after discovering the large stash of bygone goods in a shop that had been run by the Carter family in Southwold for several generations.

The goods were from the shop in Victoria Street, Southwold, which closed in 2000 after about 200 years of trading due to competition from supermarkets.

It had first been a builders yard, then a hardware store, and then became a general and convenience store after the second world war.

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The Shop Museum was set up in 2004 and also features ledgers from the previous shop and postcards of the area by Beano illustrator Reg Carter, who died in 1946.

Mrs Carter, 56, said: 'When we found the items in a store room at the shop we thought it would be such a shame to throw it all away and destroy it. We thought it would be nice to preserve a part of our heritage and past that seems to have become a bit forgotten.'

Mrs Carter hopes to open the Shop Museum more regularly by opening it one day a month between Easter and Christmas.

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