Calling time on one of Sodbury’s longest running businesses

August 31 2015

LONG established Penny Farthings Gift Shop in Chipping Sodbury is about to close with the retirement of owners Penni and Dave Tanner. The couple have traded in the High Street for more than 30 years and here Penni reflects on her time in the retail business, offering some advice to newcomers.

LONG established Penny Farthings Gift Shop in Chipping Sodbury is about to close with the retirement of owners Penni and Dave Tanner. The couple have traded in the High Street for more than 30 years and here Penni reflects on her time in the retail business, offering some advice to newcomers.
“First of all I would like to thank our lovely, loyal customers who have supported Penny Farthings Gift Shop over the past 33 years. It has been an amazing experience, sharing in their celebrations of life - the weddings, engagements, births and so many other occasions.
“Our trusty saleswoman, the late Pamela Buckeridge - who taught me everything there was to know about retailing - gave wise advice at the start of my career to never discuss politics, religion or finance. When she retired in 1992 she had completed a total of 56 years in retailing in Chipping Sodbury.
“There were many other characters that formed an important part of our daily routine, with their stories, their advice and their endless generosity of spirit.
“It has been a privilege to have been a part of the local business community that was instrumental in launching Victorian Day, the Flower Festival (now Sodbury in Bloom) and Chipping Sodbury Festival, as well as the revival of Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, an essential part of local business.
“We are very fortunate to have such a wide selection of retail outlets in Chipping Sodbury, many of which contribute towards the local community with donations, raffle prizes and sponsorship, giving their time and expertise and often participating after a busy day when time is at a premium.
“They play an essential part in the town, making it what it is today. The proof of the pudding is all around us. It is up to everyone to provide the essential main ingredient - our continued support, business and custom.
“The Christmas lights also evolved from enthusiastic retailers, businesses and residents alike. Comments such as ‘You will never get anything moving in Chipping Sodbury’ and ‘Chipping Sodbury has nothing to offer’ proved to be totally wrong.
“As a keepsake, we are compiling a book of memories of Penny Farthings Gift Shop so please pop into the shop to record your own.
“Our life at Penny Farthings has been very fulfilling, as we hope our future years will be.”