A FAMILY-RUN clothes shop in Blackwood’s High Street will close its doors next week after 80 years in business.
Lamberts of Blackwood, which was opened in May 1933, will be taken over and replaced by an independently run furniture store.
Tilley Beddoe furniture will move into the premises from its present location in Blackwood after the clothes retailer closes next Thursday.
Philip Lambert and his wife, Mary, are reaching retirement age and have decided it is the right time to allow another local business to move on to High Street.
Mr Lambert joined his father, Thomas, in the business after finishing his A-levels 45 years ago.
He said: “I was always keen to join the family business. We’re a bit of an institution in Blackwood and in the surrounding areas by now.
“This shop is very much part of the community – it’s not unusual for the grandparents to come in with the children and say they used to buy their own school uniforms here.”
Lamberts used to own four branches, including two in Blackwood, one in Tredegar, and one in Merthyr Tydfil.
Mr Lambert added: “I’ve got books dating back to our first day of trading where there was eight pounds and six-and-a-half pence on the cash register. It’s good to look back at them sometimes. But it’s about time we step off the treadmill, we are nearing retirement age.
“The high street has taken a knock in recent years but Blackwood is bucking that trend. We still have thousands of pounds’ worth of stock left at knock-down prices for the next week.”
Andrew Highway, town centre development manager at Caerphilly council, said: “It’s a sad thing to see an independent retailer that has such a close connection with the town closing. But you have to look at the business coming in.”