New life for old ironmongers in Chesterfield

Dorothy Robinson outside the old Johnsons Ironmongers shop, that she has bought and is transforming into a ladies clothes shop.
Dorothy Robinson outside the old Johnsons Ironmongers shop, that she has bought and is transforming into a ladies clothes shop.

New life is to be breathed into a building which was home to a Chesterfield company for nearly 130 years.

Dotique, a women’s clothes shop, is due to open at the Chatsworth Road premises where ironmongers Johnsons used to be based.

It will be run by Dorothy Robinson, of Chesterfield, who decided to enter the world of business after 30 years of teaching primary school children.

The 53-year-old said: “I’ve always been interested in fashion and felt it was time for a change in career.

“I’m keen to add to the Chatsworth Road scene – it’s a fantastic street with so much variety.

“I felt there was a need for more clothes for ladies in Chesterfield.

“I’ll be selling timeless, affordable clothing.”

The store will stock items from big names like French Connection as well as local suppliers.

Johnsons was part of the town since 1888.

Its closure came after Phil Johnson – the fourth generation of ironmongers at the shop – 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.

Dorothy added: “I love the building.

“It’s currently undergoing a refurbishment but will retain some of the wonderful features associated with Johnsons.”

Dotique is due to open at the beginning of November.

“I look forward to welcoming customers to Dotique,” Dorothy said.