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DIY store Bernardes Trading to close after 110 years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 08 November 2018

Janet and Ian Bernardes, who are closing the store after 110 years so they can enjoy their retirement. Picture: Luke Acton

Janet and Ian Bernardes, who are closing the store after 110 years so they can enjoy their retirement. Picture: Luke Acton

Archant

A DIY shop in Barking Road is closing its’ doors after 110 years of trade.

Bernardes Trading Ltd in Barking Road, which sells doll houses and building supplies. Picture: Luke ActonBernardes Trading Ltd in Barking Road, which sells doll houses and building supplies. Picture: Luke Acton

Bernardes Trading, run by Ian and Janet Bernardes, has seen two world wars, survived the death of London’s Docklands and been served by three generations of the family.

Ian and Janet, both in their 60s, are retiring to travel, and their son, John, is continuing the building business under a different name.

Janet said: “We could be here for another 10 years doing the same thing. But in 10 years time, are you still going to be able to do what you want to do?”

Ian’s grandfather, Jack, opened the business in 1908, before it was taken over by Jack’s son, Andrew. Ian has been working in the shop for more than 50 years.

“I’ve been here since I was about 12, working on a Saturday,” he said.

“It’s just life.

“I have mixed feelings about shutting. We serve hundreds of people around here and no one wants us to go, but we have to have some sort of life before we die.”

For Ian, helping people and solving their problems was the best part of the job.

He said: “You’ve got lots and lots of people who come in and can’t do something and we’ve got to tell them how to do it the right way.”

The shop also played a key role in the childhood of their daughter, Jane Johnson, who’s now a social worker.

“She’s been here since year dot,” Janet said.

“From two-years-old she used to come here, because what else would you do with her?

“We took her with us – there was no child minder.”

While she doesn’t work there fulltime, Jane has contributed massively to the store’s role in supplying doll houses to Newham.

Ian started the doll house side of the business after building one for his daughter, and selling others from then on.

Jane still helps out sometimes when the pair are short staffed.

Bernardes Trading’s last day will be on December 28.

After skipping their holiday this year, Ian and Janet are planning a cruise for early 2019.

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