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Ashford Emporium in Willesborough to close

By Sam Williams

A knitting shop will close its doors as its owners plan to retire.

The Ashford Emporium in Mabledon Avenue, Willesborough, was opened five years ago by sisters Dee Wickham, 73, and Maureen Carpenter, 71.

But due to the sisters' ill health and the escalating costs of the business, they are now calling it a day.

Maureen Carpenter and Dee Wickham have had the store for five years
Maureen Carpenter and Dee Wickham have had the store for five years

The shop sells crafts, wools and clothes hand knitted by the sisters, including baby and adult garments and blankets.

Maureen, who lives in Maidstone, said: "We are sorry to lose all our customers; we've helped a lot of people out since we opened.

"Everyone is sorry we are leaving, we've made some great friends.

"We've worked hard all our lives, we're not people to sit around and not do anything.

Ashford Emporium in Mabledon Ave
Ashford Emporium in Mabledon Ave

"But we want to retire now and live life to the full."

The sisters tried to sell the shop as a going concern but there was no interest.

Their last day of business will be on Saturday (May 25).

The sisters have made thousands of twindle blankets for Dementia and Alzheimer's patients, which have been distributed to Ashford care homes.

The store is closing this month
The store is closing this month

They have also raised money for the Pilgrims Hospice through a collection tin, raffles and tombolas.

Maureen added: "We want to thank everyone who's helped made the twiddle blankets over the years for the care homes. We will carry on making these."

The 'knit and knatter' sessions, usually held at the shop, will also continue at a different venue, which is still to be arranged.

The store is currently offering up to 50% off all stock with shop fittings also being sold.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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