Harleston business stalwart retires after 40 years of service

Barry Harbour retires from Rackhams Building Supplies in Harleston after more than 40 years of employment
Barry Harbour retires from Rackhams Building Supplies in Harleston after more than 40 years of employment

A Harleston man who has remained a familiar face to the town’s business community for more than four decades has received plaudits following his retirement from his long-standing role at a local shop.

Barry Harbour, an employee at Rackhams Building Supplies, recently retired after working at the shop since the early 1970s, when it was under the name of Home and Farm Supplies and based on Fair Green in Diss and Redenhall Road in Harleston.

Initially employed as a costings clerk, Mr Harbour is credited as being “instrumental” to ensuring the business, now based at Exchange Street, was able to keep up with new technologies, helping to computerise the payroll system and transfer product catalogues over to the internet.

Maurice Sheldrake, who manages the shop along with Keith Coleman, said: “We will miss Barry a lot. We had worked together for so long we could second guess each other and we had our own unique sense of humour.

“We’ve already told Barry he can’t totally retire – we shall need him back to help with the annual stock take, something he’s been doing ever since he started.”

Mr Harbour, a keen photographer and table tennis enthusiast, will continue his employment as a part-time pallbearer at Rosedale Funeral Home and will remain involved in community activities, having recently taken part in a 24 hour indoor bowling marathon which helped raise around £5,000 for Norfolk-based cancer charity The Big C.