Furniture Store, 1 Holyrood St. A Point in Time - from David Laughton
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The Museum has a picture from 1963 of this shop under the name, Thurgur Chemist Ltd. Previously, early in the twentieth century, we believe it was a grocers under the name J. Hawkers. Peoplemay also remember Laughton Furniture, which was open from 1971 to 1994.
Arthur Laughton, who had been a manager at Goulds furniture store in Dorchester, saw the opportunity of owning his own shop when 1 Holyrood Street came up for sale. He and his wife, Sylvia, bought the premises, initially living above the shop and then moving to Chaffcombe. They were joined by their son Michael. All the family were involved in the business and David, the Laughtons other son, joined in the late 1970s.
Laughton sold good quality beds, bedroom furniture and dining and living room furniture of a traditional style, such as copies of regency furniture, which the big retail stores did not sell. To further distinguish themselves from big retailers David Laughton says they sold a service. They could provide same day or next day delivery and would deliver all over the country in their own van, often delivering to people who had visited the shop while on holiday. They also had many returning customers.
As with many family retail businesses, working hours were long. When David met and married his
wife Pauline they married on a Wednesday, as it was a half-day closing on that day. He had a 2 day honeymoon before returning to work in the shop on Saturday!
Michael ran a furniture store in Taunton until his retirement and David and Pauline Laughton still live in Chard. We know the premises have also housed Chard Surplus and now Proper Job.