Shopkeeper to close business after 43 years

Michael Maxwell, Alan Maxwell and Sally Rowley
Michael Maxwell, Alan Maxwell and Sally Rowley

A TRADER is closing his family-run business after more than 40 years.

Alan Maxwell, who runs Salmons in White Rock, together with his niece Sally Rowley, son Paul and grandson Michael, will be shutting on August 31.

The 81-year-old, whose father and grandfather were shopkeepers in Hastings, said it was time for him to retire.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed being here, meeting people and shall miss all of my customers. Sally has been my right-hand assistant and I couldn’t have managed without her. She has been wonderful. I’ve enjoyed the life of a shopkeeper but in the end as you get older you don’t want to suffer today’s problems in business so I thought now was the time to retire.”

Mr Maxwell and his wife Prim, who died last December, took ownership of Salmons in 1970. The store sells newspapers, confectionery, gifts, books and other items.

Mr Maxwell said: “It’s always been a shop and been here for more than 100 years. When we came 43 years ago we had a new shop front fitted in.”

Prior to becoming a shopkeeper, he worked for the water board for 20 years from 1946 but decided he wanted to go into retail.

Mr Maxwell has seen a lot of changes in his 43-year tenure at Salmons.

He said: “When we first took over people were still having their holidays in England. Visitors came from the north and used our shop to buy gifts to take home. Students then came and business boomed with us selling stuff to do with London and Great Britain.” He added trade had become quieter since Priory Meadow was built and people deciding to shop online.