Nelson furniture store closes after 60 years

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One of Nelson’s best-known stores has closed its doors after being open for nearly 60 years.

Heaton’s furniture store, on Scotland Road, gained a reputation in the town and further afield for being the place to go for furniture, carpets, flooring and many other items and was described by being a bit of an “Aladdin’s cave.”

Jim Heaton, founder of the business, spent his entire working life working with and selling furniture after starting making cabinets at Earnshaw Brothers and Booth in Burnley at the age of 13.

He then started his first business as a French polisher at the age of 17 before doing National Service and spending a period in the RAF.

After returning from the armed forces, Mr Heaton began polishing headboards for Silentnight and then selling Silentnight beds from a premises above a shoe repair shop in Dial Street.

Heaton’s then moved to a larger premises on Chapel Street before moving again to its current position beneath the former Romany Ballroom when the regeneration of Nelson took place which saw the building of the Arndale Centre.

One of Mr Heaton’s best memories from his time working was an occasion when he was so busy at his desk that he wasn’t aware that the roof of the building was on fire, or of the smoke in his office.

Mr Heaton and his wife Susan retired from the business seven years ago in 2004 and it has since been run by their grandson Jamie Barritt and store manager for 24 years, David Humphrey.

The Heatons, who are sad to see the end of an era, said: “We would like to thank all the wonderful people we have served and we have enjoyed every minute of our time in business.”

However, Mr Barritt is continuing the Heaton name and moving the store to Lytham by opening a carpet and flooring store on Pleasant Street Parade in the seaside town.