Framlingham business veteran calls times on 45-year career
A veteran Framlingham shop owner has called time on a fruitful business career spanning almost half a century after revealing plans to shut his store later this year.
Bill Bulstrode, owner of home and lifestyle shop Bulstrodes at 27 Bridge Street, kicked off a closing down sale on Wednesday following the announcement he was going to “call it a day” due to economic and market considerations, ending a 15-year tenure at the store and 45 years as a trader in the Framlingham area.
“I have greatly enjoyed my retailing experience in Framlingham and what I will miss most is the fantastic customers,” Mr Bulstrode told the Diss Express.
“Obviously, with the current economic climate and the mindset of people using the internet for ease and because they are busy, it has made for challenging times in the retail industry.
“Due to many factors and the internet, I have decided to call it a day.”
Mr Bulstrode started in the Framlingham retail scene in 1970, when he joined up with the family business, Carley and Webb Ltd.
In 1981, he began learning the flooring trade with local companies, before setting up his own flooring business and then opening his first shop in Crown and Anchor Lane during the late 1980s.
He moved and expanded his business twice, firstly to the old Co-op in Church Street, now the site of The Lemon Tree, in the mid 1990s, and then to the current property, formerly Henry Abbotts of Debenham, in 2000.
Mr Bulstrode stated some of his greatest memories from his years in the trade were as chairman of the Framlingham Business Assocation, a role in which he helped co-ordinate local groups to stage events such as the 2012 Olympic Flag Parade, the Royal Wedding on the Hill and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
“The sight of the Market Hill being full of people all waiting to see the big event is something that will stay with me forever,” he said.
“I was born and bred in Framlingham so have always felt at home in the town.”
He added that he had not yet made any decisions regarding life after business.
Bulstrodes, which stocks homewares, floorings, toys, sporting goods, photography equipment, flags and party accessories, among other items, will remain open for the next few months while the remaining inventory is sold.
The shop is up for let with Framlingham-based agency Clarke and Simpson.