Trading places in Broxbourne
PUBLISHED: 09:13 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:20 29 February 2016
Broxbourne and its neighbouring village Wormley may only have small parade of shops but here you will find shopkeepers with serious know-how. Julie Lucas discovers a community along the High Road that cares
Steaks and shakes
One shop on Broxbourne’s parade of shops that has stood the test of time since 1912, when the houses on the busy High Road were converted into shops, is butchers DW Walters.
David Walters bought the butchery business 22 years ago and has built up a loyal customer base. Customer Poppy Joslin says it is the shop to come to. ‘You have never tasted meat like it, the steak is like butter.’ As well as the usual selection of meats you will find venison sausages, oxtail and own-cooked brawn. David believes that people are becoming a bit more adventurous in their tastes and puts this down to television chefs popularising different cuts and celebrating butchers.
Next doot to DW Walters, the Bread Bin offers freshly baked bread, pastries and cakes baked daily at its Ware bakery. Along the row is Coffee Affair where you can relax into a tub chairs and enjoy a latte. Children will love the milkshake parlour at the back of the shop which is perfect for parties.
For the home
For a small showroom there is plenty to see at Broxbourne Flooring. Owner Oliver Courtney is understandably proud to be a Which? review publisher ‘trusted trader’ and believes the key to his success has been recommendations from happy customers. The modern interior showcases carpets, wood and vinyl flooring by well known brands such as Amtico and Quickstep. The company introduced Teckfloor this year.
For unusual, beautiful and inspiring antique and vintage homewares go to Gloss Reclaim in Wormley (follow the A1170 High Road south). The shop opened a year ago and has already expanded into the yard. Owner David Bilton restores furniture while his son sources pieces from all over the world. David said he think the attraction of old pieces ‘is that they have a story to tell’.
Back in the 21st century, for technology at the cutting edge, go to audio visual specialists Soundstage for state-of-the-art cinema and sound systems.
Pets and pedals
Lesley Pieris has loved animals from childhood and so opening her pet shop Paws and Claws was the perfect business for her. ‘We are very much the same as we were when we opened 33 years ago,’ she says. ‘It’s like an old fashioned pet shop. What we sell, we sell with absolute confidence. We can get you through any problem with dogs, cats or smaller domestic pets like rabbits.’
The shop sells a range of what Lesley call ‘fluffies’ (domestic pets), foodstuffs and accessories and provides aftercare. Lesley believes pets are good for children as they can give them a sense of responsibility, but she recommends parents ensure their children do really want them, otherwise it invariably turns out it is mum and dad who will be the ones looking after it.
The shop also has a claim to fame. Singer Jade Williams got her monika Sunday Girl from working here each Sunday.
Whether for road or mountain, Richardson’s Cycles offers competitive prices on new bikes and repairs, with the added benefit that one of its mechanics will assemble and safety check a bike before it is collected from the shop. Staff are cycling enthusiasts, so take advantage of their expert product knowledge.
Hairdresser Tony Filarmonico at Kassice puts his success down to passion. Describing how times have changed during his 31 years running his business he says, ‘It is individuality that customers want now. People used to follow the crowd, it was considered trendy but everyone ended up looking the same.
‘My success in one word is not drive or ambition, it is passion. If you love something, you are going to be good at it.’
He recommends head massages and his treatment for stressed out and over processed hair is popular.
Escape hairdressing and barbering will also do its best to make you look your best. And if your complexion is feeling the effects of the winter, re-energise it with an oxygen facial at Bourne Beauty or treat someone special to a Valentines package.
On Station Road, off the High Road, Eileen Gay Opticians has been looking after the health of their patients eyes since 1987. It is one of only two behavioural optometrist outlets in Hertfordshire and can help patients with dyslexia, dyspraxia, brain trauma injuries and other squints. Eileen’s husband Gerry who looks after day-to-day operations believes people are going back to shopping more locally. He adds, ‘We tend to offer a more bespoke service and emphasise we are not a shop that just sells glasses. We have a sign apologising if anyone is kept waiting, which reads “We are sorry to keep you waiting but we make no apology for caring – that is our philosophy”,’
Did you know?
One company that was well ahead of the current trend for recycling was James Pulham and Son, creators of Pulhamite – an artificial stone made from brickwork and rubble that was easily sculpted, which was manufactured in Broxbourne in the 19th century. The invention helped spur the Victorian obsession with rock gardens, ferneries, follies, grottoes and fountains. Although the business did not survive, its legacy of ornaments and structures has, including examples at the royal Sandringham estate.