Farewell, S Johnson and Son

A closing down sale was held at S Johnson and Son last month.
A closing down sale was held at S Johnson and Son last month.

Legendary Chesterfield ironmongers S Johnson and Son has closed its doors for the final time.

The Chatsworth Road business had been part of the town since 1888.

Mr Johnson adored his family business.

Mr Johnson adored his family business.

Its closure comes after Phil Johnson - the fourth generation of ironmongers at S Johnson and Son - died suddenly at his Chesterfield home aged 88 in January.

His great-grandfather, Samuel, and grandfather, Edward, established the well-known, much-loved store 129 years ago.

The shop - which stocked an array of items including fire bricks, mousetraps and brooms - was the only one in Chesterfield to sell paraffin by the litre.

Mr Johnson's daughter, Jenny Tann, said that changing buying habits had made it increasingly difficult for shops like theirs to survive.

Phil Johnson outside his shop.

Phil Johnson outside his shop.

She said: "It is a shame to lose a small family business - we have had thousands of customers over the years."

A sign in the shop's widow thanks people for their custom over the last 129 years.

Before the store closed, Chesterfield residents told of their sadness at losing it.

Wendy Carter said: "It is very sad.

Mr Johnson and his wife, Myra, behind the counter of the well-known shop.

Mr Johnson and his wife, Myra, behind the counter of the well-known shop.

"People of my age remember the things that we used to be able to buy here that you can't get anymore.

"I am 77 now and I have been using it since I was 16. From about then onwards I would have been buying stuff from here."

Pascaline Peacock said: "When you are looking for anything in town and you can't find it, you come back here and you will find it.

"If you don’t find it here, you won’t find it anywhere else.

"It is really sad to see it closing down."

Barbara Howden said: "It is somewhere that everybody comes - if you want something, he has always got it.

"They have always been really great, polite and helpful - it is very sad.

"I am 82 now and I have used it for many years.

"It feels like I have used it forever."

Keith Barker added: "There aren’t many other shops like this for miles.

"I used to live on Manor Road 30 or 40 years ago and I came here for an hatchet which he sold me for seven and six."

It is not known what will happen with the building.

Mrs Tann said: "It would be nice to preserve it in some way."