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Snodland DIY store to close after 47 years

Alan and Penny Totham are counting down the days.

On Saturday, April 4, they are closing Home and Hobby, the Snodland shop they have run for the past 27 years and which has been in the family since 1973.

Alan and Penny Totham who are retiring from the Home and Hobby DIY shop in Snodland
Alan and Penny Totham who are retiring from the Home and Hobby DIY shop in Snodland

Mr Totham, 67, said: "It's huge shame. But it's time for us to retire and we just can't find anyone willing to take the business on."

Home and Hobby in Malling Road has been the main DIY store in Snodland since it was founded by Mr Totham's mother and father, Mia and Roy, 47 years ago.

For many years it has been Snodland's only DIY shop.

Mr Totham said: "There have been others from time to time but they didn't last. When we close people will have nowhere handy - the nearest similar shop will be B&Q at Larkfield three miles away."

Although Mr Totham was happy to take over from his father, his own two sons have their own careers and are not interested.

Alan and Penny Totham have run the shop for 27 years
Alan and Penny Totham have run the shop for 27 years

Mr Totham said: "I don't blame them - it's long hours."

Mr Totham said: "My wife and I have made a few changes over the years as fashions alter - we do far more gardening stuff now, but basically we still sell what my father started with."

Having failed to find someone to take on the DIY business, the couple, who live above the shop, are at least hoping to sell to someone who wants to run some kind of business there - and not redevelop the building to housing.

Mr Totham said: "There's always been a shop here since it was built n 1898. Before my father took over it was a grocery store run by the Preis family for several generations."

When they do manage to sell, the Totham's are not looking to move abroad and play golf.

Mr Totham said: "We want to stay in Snodlan. We have become very much a part of the community here and know lots of people."

Mr Totham is a past chairman of the Snodland Chamber of Commerce. He is heavily involved in Snodland Town Football Club, where he is development officer and website manager, and he helps to run the Snodland Goes Cleaner campaign.

His wife Penny, 63, is in with the Ham Hill and Snodland WI and the Snodland Craft Club.

Are they sad to go?

"Yes, of course," said Mr Totham. "In many ways it's the end of an era.

"On the other hand, we feel we've done our innings.

"Apart from occasionally employing a Saturday boy to weigh out nails, my wife and I have run the shop alone with no help. That's six days a week.

"It doesn't leave much time to do other things you might want to do and we feel we probably deserve a chance to catch up!"

But Mr Totham added: "I would just like to thank all our customers who have supported us over the years,. They 've been great."

Home and Hobby has a closing down sale now on. All stock is reduced by 30%.

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