Well-known Rushden shop to close

Owner Veronica Wheatcroft-McBain behind the counter
Owner Veronica Wheatcroft-McBain behind the counter

The lights will soon go out at a electrical shop which has been trading since 1945.

Theodore Clive Wheatcroft opened TC Wheatcroft in Church Street, Rushden, nearly 70 years ago.

The family business has occupied three different sites in the street over the years, and after Mr Wheatcroft’s death in 1983, his wife Mercedes took over.

She was still working there up to the age of 90, but when she died, it was left to daughter Veronica Wheatcroft-McGain to keep the shop open.

Mrs Wheatcroft-McGain, who used to work for Boots, said: “We lost dad in 1983.

“I didn’t want his business to die as well so I changed from cosmetics to cable.

“I took voluntary redundancy and helped my mum and she made me a partner.

“She worked full-time until she was 90.

“We used to call her the Gaffer.”

Mrs Wheatcroft-McGain is now hoping to retire so the shop will close once she has cleared the stock. But she admitted it will be sad to see the end of the family firm.

She said: “It’s a wrench because my family is instilled in here.”

Her father’s coat still hangs upstairs in the shop, and she remembers many of the things he taught her when he was alive. He didn’t like anyone buying anything new if it could be fixed, and she added: “Years ago there was all sorts of trades in the street.

“We all respected our own professions, we didn’t tread on anyone else’s toes. It’s all changed an awful lot.

“People keep saying they don’t know what they’ll do without us.

“I’ll miss being able to help people, solving a problem and being able to get to the bottom of something.”

Signs have gone up at the shop informing customers of the closure.

Mrs Wheatcroft-McGain said: “We have got to clear the stock. All stock must go – sales or a takeover of the business would be welcome.”

The shop is closed Monday and Tuesday, but is open Wednesday to Saturday afternoons.

For more information call 01933 312816.