Arkwright in real life sells a corner store after almost 50 years to start a ‘new life’

Shopkeeper Paul Broadbent is about to hang up his apron for the last time after being “open hourly” for nearly 50 years.

Paul, 66, has been serving customers since 1972 and has been compared to Arkwright from the Yorkshire-based sitcom Open All Hours, which he doesn’t mind.

He started working at FW Lucas in Norristhorpe, near Liversedge, West Yorkshire, in 1972 and has not taken a vacation since his early twenties.

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The store is well known locally for carrying a huge range of products, from food and drink to DIY products, toilet rolls, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, toys, batteries, sweets, etc.

But the 14 hour days in the store will soon be a thing of the past as Paul is set to bring the store to market – which comes with his own accommodation – as he spends more time with his new partner, Sharon, 53. years old, and her pet Chihuahua.

He’s said it before, but now he’s more determined to finally do it.

Paul Broadbent has run his store for almost 47 years

Paul, who lives above the store and has never been married, said: “I will be putting the store up for sale in the next year or so. I’m looking for a place to settle down.

He says 2022 will be about “decluttering and planning” for a life outside of retail.

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“I made the conscious decision that I had to move on this year and start a new life.”

In the meantime, Paul will continue to lead FW Lucas as usual for the time being, with help from Sharon.

He closed the store on Christmas Day but opened it on Boxing Day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. which was a busy day as he sold a lot of cigarettes, batteries, alcohol and chocolates.

Paul Broadbent in his shop, FW Lucas

Paul says the store will close at 8 p.m. on New Years Eve and open on New Years Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

He also hopes he can write more about his life story, much of which goes behind the counter of FW Lucas.

Paul started in the store straight from school and worked alongside his father Herbert for so long that they have been compared to Arkwright and Granville from the Open All Hours sitcom.

He has already hinted that he would like to travel during his retirement, but 2022 could be tricky as he will be busy sorting out the store sale and moving.

FW Lucas corner shop in Norristhorpe. Shopkeeper, Paul Broadbent outside his shop on Balmfield, Norristhorpe.

As a child he enjoyed traveling with his parents, Herbert and Sheila, to France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

Her grandparents looked after the store while they were away. Her last vacation was in her early twenties.

Paul’s book has a working title, Born to be Arkwright, and he wrote down memories from his professional life.

One of the chapters is titled “The Worst Things I’ve Eaten,” which includes memories of eating stale food that her father hadn’t been able to sell, and the effects it sometimes had on. his stomach.

“I’m still writing the book but I haven’t done much since Covid hit because I was too busy. We’ve moved to the other side and now things are changing for me.”

* What are your memories of FW Lucas? Email: [email protected]

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