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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Councillor Julie takes over at Cockermouth store

A Cockermouth business which has been in the same family for more than 70 years has been sold.

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NEW ERA: The Carr family, from left, James, Paul and Hilary, hand over the keys to Firns Home Hardware, in Cockermouth, to new owner Julie Laidlow, with staff Helen MacKay and Paul Cartmell

Firns Home Hardware, on Station Street, was opened by George Firn in 1939 and then passed on to his son-in-law Paul Carr, who had it for more than 30 years.

Mr Carr put the business up for sale in September to take retirement with wife Hilary, who also worked there.

The business has now been sold to brother and sister Justin and Julie Laidlow, who were both born in Cockermouth.

Julie, 50, of Crown Street, who is a town councillor, previously worked for 12 years at Fairfield Garage in Cockermouth. Justin is returning from Scotland where he owns a convenience store.

Firns will continue to run as a hardware store and all its employees are being kept on.

Julie said: “My brother wanted to come back to Cockermouth for a long time and wanted me to look for something we could run as a business. Firns was perfect because it was long established and has become part of Cockermouth.”

She said that her brother had retail experience, while she will mainly deal with customers.

Mr and Mrs Carr and their son James, who works at the store, will stay on until the end of the month to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Carr will then take retirement as he and his wife have recently become grandparents, and Mrs Carr got the all-clear after contracting breast cancer last February. They plan to buy a camper van and travel, and Mr Carr hopes to research his family tree.

He said: “I am delighted that a local family is taking over and wish Julie and Justin all the best.”

He thanked customers for their support.

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