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Beccles car shop owner retires after nearly 20 years

Graham Smith, owner of the car shop in Beccles is retiring after owning it for nearly 20 years.

Picture: James Bass

Graham Smith, owner of the car shop in Beccles is retiring after owning it for nearly 20 years. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

After nearly 20 years owning The Car Shop in Beccles, Graham Smith is putting on the breaks and is looking forward to enjoying his retirement.

Graham Smith, owner of the car shop in Beccles is retiring after owning it for nearly 20 years.
Stuart Holman (right) is taking over the running.

Picture: James BassGraham Smith, owner of the car shop in Beccles is retiring after owning it for nearly 20 years. Stuart Holman (right) is taking over the running. Picture: James Bass

The 63-year-old first opened the shop, then called The Beccles Car Shop, in 1989 but he sold the business in 2004 as he wanted to retire. After spending five years away, Mr Smith decided he missed the customers and reopened the business in 2009.

“I wasn’t ready to retire then I don’t think,” said Mr Smith who lives in Gillingham. “I missed meeting the people. It’s so lovely to talk to people. But I’m definitely ready for retirement now.

“I had been working with petrol carriages and there wasn’t a car shop in the town and I thought it was the ideal opportunity to start the business.”

The retirement of Mr Smith does not mean the shop will close however, with Stuart Holman, a member of Worlingham Parish Council, taking over the business from today.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Mr Holman. “I’ve been a Beccles boy since I was seven and always fancied having a shop.

“I’ve been looking for something a bit different and have always been a customer of Graham’s so when I heard he was leaving I was interested.

“It will be much the same. We have a Facebook page and maybe we’ll get into internet shopping. My wife, daughter and son will also be involved so it will be a real family affair.”

Mr Smith said he is now looking forward to spending time in his garden but has said the experience of owning his own shop has been enjoyable.

He said: “I like gardening so I’ll spend time doing that and fishing. I’m at an age when you just haven’t got the energy. But I have no regrets, it’s been so good.

“I’ve loved it and I’ll miss meeting people the most and having a chat with them. But I think Stuart will love it. I’m so pleased it’s being carried on. The town does need a car shop and people have said they are pleased it will still be here.

“I just wish him all the success.”

Do you have a story? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk or call Rebecca on 01502 715674

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