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Causewayhead Furnishing

Discussion in 'Penzance' started by Halfhidden, Feb 13, 2016.

By Halfhidden on Feb 13, 2016 at 11:35 PM
  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    This is the story or Causewayhead Furnishing in Penzance written by one of the directors Wendy Richards.

    In the early 1900's number 60 Causewayhead was Robinson & Son Furniture shop, Shipping Insurance and Travel Agents, remaining until mid 1960's. Then Great Universal Stores opened September 1965 with their store Woodhouse staying until November 1986. During this time a few changes and incidents occurred.

    I think it was in the 70’s when the arcade was brought into the showroom by moving the front door to its present position nearer the road. Afterwards being completely redecorated and having fully fitted carpet, covering the old red, white and blue linoleum tiles.
    One Friday in November 1981 there was an arson attack on the shop. The intruder(s) broke into and set light to the back of the premises. There was a large stock holding at the time because of nearing Christmas in those days one of our busiest periods.

    While the Firemen were bringing the flames under control. The Manager of the Penzance shop, his brother-in-law and salesmen, also the Manager of the Camborne branch of Woodhose, who lived nearby, were working on the ground floor, trying to salvage as much furniture as possible by carrying it across the road to a garaged area, which also belonged to Robinson (it is now the Underground Amusement Arcade, Ultra Training etc;)

    The damage was extensive to the whole back store area of the premises. From ground floor to the roof (that is what little roof was left). The fire doors saved the showroom area, this was just smoke logged.
    In those day’s people paid weekly for goods on Hire Purchase accounts. So the machine for recording such payments was brought down to the front door. As the general public were not allowed to enter the premises while it was being made safe and the police and fire officers investigations where taking place.
    It was rumoured the arsonist got the wrong building, they should have been next door at Alrons as it was alleged they were in financial difficulties.

    The smell of smoke on your cloths and in your hair was terrible day in day out. This continued until the builders moved in. It took 2 - 3 months to rebuild the store area and completely redecorate the premises. They had to use special paint to cover the blackened walls.
    After selling off the smoke damaged furniture. Head office organised the re-stocking of the store for the grand and successful reopening by Barbara Windsor in April 1982 with all the customers both old and new wishing us the best of luck.

    During 1986 Sir Phil Harris became the controlling shareholder of the Company. This was the beginning of the end of Times/Woodhouse Furniture stores. The entire branches throughout the country either closed or were changed to Queensway. The Penzance branch closed in November 1986 with only two week’s notice.
    Colin Harrison the manager at the time negotiated with the owner to take over the lease and with the help of ex - Woodhouse staff Causewayhead Furnishings was born.
    After decorating and stocking the premises using our pooled redundancy money. We opened for business in February 1987. This was a big step to take none of us had any regrets.
    In hindsight we were very fortunate in timing the opening and getting ourselves established as an independent company before the recession took hold in the early 90’s.
    We have to thank our loyal ex Woodhouse customers who were happy to make the transition to see us continue in the same premises. Where we always to this day offer a great service to all.
    In 1998 young Andrew joined the company. First as part-time salesman, before becoming full time prior to Colin Harrison retiring in March 2002.
    Terry Gardner and Wendy Richards are the two remaining original business partners in the Company and between them have clocked up 75 years working at Number 60 Causewayhead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    sparky likes this.

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Discussion in 'Penzance' started by Halfhidden, Feb 13, 2016.

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