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The Music Shop Ashford to close

By Aidan Barlow

A business owner says she is devastated to be closing a town centre music shop, as she takes time off to recover from illness.

Keely Timms and James Plows took on The Music Shop in New Rents in Ashford in 2014, but say Keely has been unwell for some time and now needs to focus on her recovery.

The shop had previously been run by town centre stalwart Martin Judd, who ran the shop for 20 years but died of cancer in 2015.

The shop in New Rents, Ashford
The shop in New Rents, Ashford

Ms Timms said that the music industry has changed in recent years, with fewer gigs and performances forcing the business to adapt to a new business model.

She said: “The bread and butter of our business used to be bands coming in before gigs to tell us they needed new strings or sticks, or to buy something they had forgotten.

“Schools have also dropped or cut their music offering, so there are fewer youngsters being inspired to take up music.

“This shop has been a fixture of the music scene for over 40 years and has survived many ups and downs in the process. So we are devastated to be closing.”

The duo will continue to offer private teaching and tuition on a part time basis while she recovers.

James Plows and Keely Timms
James Plows and Keely Timms

But she remains positive for the prospects of Ashford’s music scene, which she believes will grow with the arrival of the college in the town centre and more residential development too.

She added: “Perhaps one day we will come back when we are both back on our feet. This is a transition rather than the end of an era.

“The music scene is different, and it’s important to look forward to how things are changing rather than lament what has gone.

“We will be forever grateful for the overwhelming friendship and support shown to us by the Ashford music scene.”

The lease at the shop in New Rents is set to end later this month, and the duo say they will continue to trade until they have to hand over the keys.

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