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Curtain call for family shop

PUBLISHED: 18:08 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:52 02 June 2010

It was more than 30 years ago when a husband and wife team opened a shop.

But the final curtain fell as the pair shut up shop on Watton high street on Saturday.

It was more than 30 years ago when a husband and wife team opened a shop.

But the final curtain fell as the pair shut up shop on Watton high street on Saturday.

John and Beryl Bunting opened their first shop in August 1971 selling food and household goods.

Mr Bunting, 60, trained as a hairdresser because his mum wanted him to have a trade but his heart lay in buying and selling.

So despite being seven months pregnant Mrs Bunting, 58, ran the new venture while Mr Bunting carried on at his hairdressers in Shipdham, later giving up the salon to focus on the shop.

It proved a great success and as time passed the premises moved on to the High Street changing direction to sell curtains, and for the last five years, beds.

Mrs Bunting said: “There are a lot of differences since we started up. Customers' shopping habits have changed.

“It used to be the High Street would be full. Mums would leave their children outside the shop and come in. But now it's a lot less busy.

“People go elsewhere. People only have an x amount of money and whereas before they used to have a few hundred shops to choose from, now there are thousands.

“Large chain stores and supermarkets opening up on the edge of town have a huge impact on business.

“It's sad it's the end of an era. But we both felt it was time. When we got an offer on the shop we thought if we didn't take it we might not get another one.”

They plan to spend more time with their grandchildren, redecorating the house and taming the garden they describe as “a wilderness”.

Meanwhile a Tote betting shop will take over the old John's Curtains and Beds premises.

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