Announcement:

Bakers ironmongers and hardware store in Fleet has announced  that it will be closing after 112 years in business. 

WC Baker and Son, located at 234 Fleet Road, in Fleet in the Hart District of Hampshire, closed its doors for the last time on Thursday, September 30 2021. 

A statement published online by the Baker family read: 'This past year has been very challenging, but like everyone else we have found ways of adapting. 'Due to circumstances beyond our control we have judged that it is now the right time to bow out. 'We wish to thank our loyal customers and the local community for all the support the business has received over the years which has enabled us to celebrate our centenary and beyond.'


Panted by local artist Susie Lidstone 

Presentation:

A book of thanks, with contributions from many local people thanking the Bakers for their many years of service to the local community, was presented outside the shop by Jill Penton on closing day. 

 

 

 

The Fleet Lions presented The Baker family with a certificate of thanks for their service.

History:

Mr. Wyndham Cecil Baker, a cabinet maker and decorator, moved from Wokingham with his wife, Mrs. Lilian Ethel Baker, to Fleet in April 1908. 

He set up a cabinet and household furniture shop in Reading Road South repairing furniture and providing services such as French polishing and upholstery work. 

WW1 led to a low demand for this type of work so Wyndham started selling goods for troops based in nearby Crookham. He provided them with soap and brushes as well as brass items for the army bands, also general military requisitions including boots, putty knives, billy cans, officers swagger canes and the like. After the war, glass and chinaware were added to the business along with a thriving building and decorating service. 

The business moved to a new purpose built premises in Fleet Road in the 1930ís.

 

1935

Wyndham had the help of his son, Mr. Sydney Baker and many local men. 

WW2 took its place in history and Sydney was called up for service as a full time fireman. Many local men lost their lives and the building service provided by Wyndham was halted and subsequently not restarted. 

Shortly after the war Wyndham suffered ill health and therefore passed the business onto his son, Sydney, who remained a part-time fireman but also took on the responsibility of running the shop with the help from his wife, Marguerite. He continued selling decorating and building items, which of course he had experience in using and also added the service of cutting keys and grinding tools. 

In the late 1970ís Sydney ís son, Geoffrey John Baker, grandson of Wyndham, took over the responsibility of running the ironmongery business. Geoff has the help and support of his wife, Suzanne and their twin daughters, Jane and Sarah Ė the fourth generation. Geoff has developed the key cutting service to its full potential and has an outstanding practical knowledge of locks and oil heaters. 

The Business has won many accolades including Business of the Year award in 1987, 1988 and again in 1989. Also the Fleet in Bloom shop frontage award for six successive years. 

The business has adapted to meet the changing requirements of its customerís needs. It is able to provide modern, sometimes even sophisticated products but still keeping the traditional counter top service. 

The business has been helped by having a strong family unit with long serving staff as its foundation but more importantly by having loyal customers. 

Fondly Remembered - fleethants

 

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