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Electricals shop in Norfolk seaside town closed down after 137 years

PUBLISHED: 20:08 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:18 11 April 2018

Richard Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. In the frame are old calling cards and a photo from the shop's history. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDS

Richard Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. In the frame are old calling cards and a photo from the shop's history. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDS

Archant

It has been a part of its seaside community for 137 years.

Randalls of Cromer has closed down after 137 years in the town. Pictured is fonder, Robert Randall, and an employee at the shop's former premises in Mount Street.  Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDSRandalls of Cromer has closed down after 137 years in the town. Pictured is fonder, Robert Randall, and an employee at the shop's former premises in Mount Street. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDS

But now, the couple behind popular electrical shop Randalls of Cromer have decided to call it a day.

Richard Leeds, 66, and his wife Maggie, have closed the shop first opened by Richard’s great-great grandfather, Robert Randall, in 1881, back in the days before they even had electricity.

Mr Leeds said the shop, which was probably the oldest one in Cromer, was much different back then.

He said: “They came to Cromer and built the business up, starting as gas fitters, bell ringers, silversmiths and doing watch repairs, umbrella recovery, and they had a cycle depot.

Randalls of Cromer has closed down after 137 years in the town. Pictured is the former premises in Mount Street.  Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDSRandalls of Cromer has closed down after 137 years in the town. Pictured is the former premises in Mount Street. Picture: COURTESY OF RICHARD LEEDS

“They also charged the accumulators for radios.

“That went on until electrics came to Cromer and Sheringham in the 1920s, then they went into electrical engineering.

Four of Mr Randall’s five sons followed him into the trade, and the shop eventually passed into Richard and Maggie’s hands 25 years ago. They continued on with retail lighting and contracted electrical sides to the business.

Randalls was originally in Bond Street, then Mount Street, before moving to its final home in Church Street eight years ago.

Richard and Maggie Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. Picture: PETER STIBBONSRichard and Maggie Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. Picture: PETER STIBBONS

Mr Leeds said it would be the people he would miss the most.

He said: “We’ve made some wonderful customers and friends over the years.

“They have been tremendous and we’d like to thank them for wishing us well in retirement.

“But I will still be around.”

Richard Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. In the frame are old calling cards and a photo from the shop's history. In the photo on the right, in front of the shop in Mount Street are Robert Randall, left, and his wife Clara. Pictures: PETER STIBBONS/COURTESY OF RANDALLSRichard Leeds at Randalls of Cromer, which has closed down after 137 years in the town. In the frame are old calling cards and a photo from the shop's history. In the photo on the right, in front of the shop in Mount Street are Robert Randall, left, and his wife Clara. Pictures: PETER STIBBONS/COURTESY OF RANDALLS

Mr Leeds said they would stay in the town, and he would continue as operations manager at Cromer Lifeboat Station, and in his roles on the town council and chamber of commerce.

He said: “I’m Cromer born and bred, and I love the town and the people, but there was no-one to take over in the family.

“You can see the high street is slowly changing, but Cromer has some wonderful independent shops and that’s what makes it so different from run-of-the-mill centres.”

Mr Leeds said he would also keep up a public address system rental business, and a sideline in electrical repairs.

He said one of the shop’s electricians was taking over the premises, and planned to re-open it “with a new concept in lighting and electrical”.

Do you have a Cromer story? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

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