Harvard Ironmongers opened in Newport, Pembrokeshire 140 years ago

Villagers raise £445,000 to save 141-year-old ironmongers who braved the giants of crafts

Loyal villagers rescue a traditional ironmonger, raising £445,000 to prevent the 141-year-old ‘Open All Hours’ shop from closing.

Harvard Ironmongers in the small seaside village of Newport, Pembrokeshire, faced closure in June this year after the owners announced they were selling the shop.

The vintage hardware store sells everything from hunting gear to camping gear and home goods and has narrowly escaped the threat from giant DIY stores.

The villagers have set to work to keep open what they say is now the first community-owned hardware store in the whole of Britain.

The villagers have now managed to save the beloved shop by raising £445,000 to save it

Harvard Ironmongers opened in Newport, Pembrokeshire, for the first time in 140 years. Early this year the gallery was threatened with closure prompting villagers to band together and raise £445,000 to save the beloved shop. Pictured: Harvards in the 1950s (left) and today (right)

The Community Engagement Showcase was launched by the local community in June. The village of 1,200 people raised £445,000 with the community group announcing the completion of the purchase just days earlier.

Clive Hooper, a cheerful fundraiser, said: “This past week has been a hectic with contracts, legal, IT and marketing conference calls, job interviews and paperwork in preparation for the contract exchange and transition into ownership.

“I really want to thank everyone who helped and invested in keeping this traditional last ironmonger shop alive in our community here.

“We’re ready for Christmas and have a wonderfully sweet selection of gifts and activities for the month of December.”

Cliff Hooper, who worked as an ironmonger at Harvard University, decided to start the fundraiser.  He vowed to ensure the store's survival

Cliff Hooper, who worked as an ironmonger at Harvard University, decided to start the fundraiser. He pledged to ensure the store remains “at the heart of the community”.

Residents of the small seaside village of 1,200 guineas were offered the chance to buy 200 guineas worth of stock to save the historic store from closing.  Pictured: Villagers trying to raise money for Harvard University earlier this year

Residents of the small seaside village of 1,200 guineas were offered the chance to buy 200 guineas worth of stock to save the historic store from closing. Pictured: Villagers trying to raise money for Harvard University earlier this year

The building dates back to 1840 and is a popular stop for locals and tourists enjoying last-minute beach supplies.

The families were offered the opportunity to buy £200 worth of shares to save the stone-fronted shop in Little High Street.

The historic store has been circulating in the town since 1881 – described as “the lifeblood of the village from long days now”.

Mr Hooper said at the time: ‘This is an opportunity for residents of Newport and the local area as well as for visitors and friends wherever they may be, to be part of the city’s future helping to maintain a unique example of a store that can provide almost everything you need, right on your doorstep.

The store sells everything from fishing gear to camping gear and household items—even Christmas trees

The store sells everything from fishing gear to camping gear and household items—even Christmas trees

The money raised from the campaign will be used to purchase the building and store stock.  Pictured: a large selection of mugs for sale in the shop

The money raised from the campaign will be used to purchase the building and store stock. Pictured: a large selection of mugs for sale in the shop

Harvards has offered a wide variety of everyday items including hand tools, nails, screws, key bits, cookware, crockery, gardening equipment, and stationery (pictured) for 141 years.

Harvards has offered a wide variety of everyday items including hand tools, nails, screws, key bits, cookware, crockery, gardening equipment, and stationery (pictured) for 141 years.

The fund will be used to purchase the building and store inventory – as well as provide start-up money and working capital.

There was a minimum contribution of £200 and a maximum contribution of £33,000.

Harvards has offered a wide variety of everyday items including hand tools, nails, screws, key bits, cookware, crockery and gardening equipment for 141 years.

Mr. Hooper (pictured left) fundraising to save the store earlier this year.  Locals fear that if no one buys the shop it could be closed and the site sold for other uses

Mr. Hooper (pictured left) fundraising to save the store earlier this year. Locals fear that if no one buys the shop it could be closed and the site sold for other uses

The building dates back to 1840 and is a popular stop for locals and tourists enjoying last-minute beach supplies.

The building dates back to 1840 and is a popular stop for locals and tourists enjoying last-minute beach supplies.

The offer of shares is priced at a minimum of £200 and a maximum contribution of £33,000

The offer of shares is priced at a minimum of £200 and a maximum contribution of £33,000

Locals fear that if no one buys the shop it could be closed and the site sold for other uses.

Mr. Hooper vowed that she would remain at the heart of the community.

He said: ‘We’re hosting an IT workshop for all broken cellphones, tablets and computers on December 14th from 2pm to close, scissors to knife sharpening – time to grab your turkey carving knife just in time for Christmas, and join the town at Christmas. Market & Treasure Hunt on December 10 with guides at the Havards Community Shop while enjoying mince pie and a glass of wine also for adults.

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