Paul Saxby, 57, said he will close Arcade Fisheries in Queens Arcade in March and thanked his customers for all their support over the years. However, they will still be able to buy fish and seafood from him because he is moving the business to a market stall “half a pitching wedge” from his shop in Hastings town centre. He added: “We’re really sad that we’re closing the shop. It’s a family business. My dad worked here all his life from 16 til he was 65. Two of my sons work here. My brother-in-law works here. But we’ve managed to work it so everyone’s going to keep their jobs. We’d like to thank the people of Hastings for their support. For all these years they’ve stood by us, and they still say they’re going to - they’re going to find us on the market.”
The fishmonger shop was opened in Queens Arcade in 1937, and Paul’s father George Saxby started working there as a 16-year-old boy in 1953. George, who passed away two years ago, took over the shop in 1985 and it has been run by the Saxby family since then. Paul’s sons Adam, 30, and Reece, 16, work there, and Paul’s brother-in-law Nigel Jackson, 53, has been working there for the past 15 years. Paul said he decided to close the shop because it was “time to move on”. He added: “Part of it is we’ve lost the hairdressers in the Arcade, we’ve lost the butchers, we’ve lost the key-cutting shop, we’ve lost Gifts and Giggles, so we just feel it’s time to move on, but we wish the Arcade and the people who stay here every success in the future.”
His market stall, outside Costa coffee in the town centre, will open from 9am to 3pm every Thursday. “We’re here at the shop until March and we’re starting the market in February so there’s going to be a crossover and we’re going to be doing market exclusives so people can come to the shop and we’ll say, ‘we haven’t got that today but we’ve got them at the market’. So that’ll get people into the market, which also will help Hastings town centre market, not just us, because it’s going to bring the customers we’ve served for years on to the market.” He will also continue to trade at weekend markets, including Worthing, Shoreham on Sea, and Tunbridge Wells.
Last month, Gary Fellows, who has been running Arcade Butchers in Queens Arcade for 21 years, announced he was to close after his rent was increased. His last day of trading at the Arcade will be on January 22. In March last year, Queens Arcade was sold at auction for £461,000, after receiving 51 bids. Businesses there were only given three weeks’ notice of the auction, and said they were concerned new landlords might push up rents and drive family-run businesses from the Arcade.