Michelle Morgan

When I was a little girl, my dad was always making things for my brother and I: an incubator for my dolls... a wooden replica of Marilyn Monroe’s house... a space control centre for my brother... telephones that connected our bedrooms… and on and on it went.

I have lost count of the amount of times I would ask for something one day, and be woken up with it next to my bed shortly afterwards.

In short my dad was – and is – a genius handyman who can make anything he puts his mind to.

He would always buy his DIY supplies from a local shop called Hemmings, which had everything a budding handyperson could want: nails, wood, teeny hinges in plastic bags, etc. etc.

My childhood memories are very much fixed in Hemmings as my dad would take me there at least once a week to stock up on all he needed for his latest project.

The smell of wood, and the rows and rows of tiny gold coloured ‘bits’ fascinated me and I would look forward to our visits very much.

Even now the smell of wood sends me straight back to my childhood.

Imagine my sadness then, when last week my dad told me the tragic news that Hemmings is no more.

I went down to see for myself and sure enough, it was empty; except for the fittings and a big sign, thanking customers for all their support for the shop over the years.

What a sad sight it was, and it was made even more so when I was joined by two men in their 60s, gazing through the window and lamenting the end of an era with me.

I ran my hand over the original door fixtures, and felt so sad that while Hemmings has been part of Northamptonshire since 1955, it has not gone on to serve future generations.

So long great store...

You will be missed by all your customers, and my dad and I salute you.

You did good.