Celebrating 75 Years Of Trading
One of Preston’s oldest hardware businesses is drawing up plans to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year – and everyone is invited! Photography: Roger Moore
Blundell’s Hardware on Liverpool Road in Longton, has been welcoming customers since 1948, providing generations of South Ribble residents with all their hardware and household needs including cookware, cleaning products, paint, decorating sundries, DIY, gardening, electrical and plumbing supplies. This independent retailer places a huge focus on customer service and satisfaction, as well as competitive prices and a close relationship with the local community.
75th anniversary weekend
Blundell’s owner Nick Thompson and his team are inviting customers and local residents to join in their 75th anniversary celebrations over a special weekend on 3rd and 4th June 2023. There will be lots of special offers including money off interior and exterior paint, ladders, gardening supplies, a steam iron and plenty more. There’s also a free tombola plus a chance to win a Tower Dual Basket Air Fryer, worth £299 RRP, in a free prize draw! The winner of which, will be announced on Saturday 16th September, the anniversary of Blundell’s first day of business in 1948.
Nick said: “We pride ourselves on our long history and close connections to the Longton community and are delighted to host the celebration weekend in June. We appreciate that our past is part of what makes Blundell’s so special. Whilst we aim to be innovative and forward-thinking, it’s old traditions, excellent customer service, a personal touch and competitive prices that will always be at the forefront of our amazing shop.”
The history of Blundells
With a unique story stretching back to the post-war era in 1948, the hardware shop was originally set up by Ronnie Blundell, who left his trade as a barber and started a delivery round from the back of an ageing wagon, trading as ‘R. Blundell – Ironmonger’. Instantly successful, Ronnie quickly upgraded to a ‘step-inside’ mobile shop in a converted coach, which did the rounds on the streets of Longton and surrounding villages for several years.
Ronnie’s wife Lynn soon got involved, selling items from their home in Walmer Bridge, alongside the delivery round. In 1958, the extra sales prompted the search for a shop for Lynn to run – along with her sister, Irene.
The original Chapel Lane shop in Longton was leased to Blundell’s by the Booth family, who then owned the adjacent shop, on the understanding that Booths would one day extend into it. As the business grew, Ronnie eventually sold his coach to a local greengrocer and joined his family indoors. Over the next decade additional staff were taken on, including son, Graham, who initially joined the business part-time whilst completing an engineering apprenticeship.
When the time came for Blundell’s to move on, Ronnie was quick to secure prestigious new premises nearby. In February 1971 business was transferred to the former Co-op building on Liverpool Road – from where it still trades to this day.
In 1978, a year before Ronnie’s retirement, the company changed its trading name to Blundell’s Hardware. Shortly after, Graham, his wife Denise and their excellent team took over running of the shop. The two remaining original staff members – Ronnie’s wife Lynn and her sister Irene, retired in the early 1990s.
Inspired by the fine Victorian shop frontages on Lord Street, Southport, in 1992, the iconic Blundell’s shop front canopy was installed to Graham’s design and specification.
Following Graham’s retirement in 2015, the business is now owned by Nick Thompson, who is committed to retaining and celebrating the history and heritage of this local high-street staple offering the same great service and personal touch that Ronnie and Lynn instilled back in 1948.
Outstanding customer service
Nick and his team are passionate about the business and service they provide across South Ribble and beyond: “We always aim to leave our customers with a smile on their face. Our staff try hard to offer the best advice we can on everything from gardening to the right choice of paint brush and everything in between. We offer a carry to car service to anyone requiring help with heavy or bulky items and have a no quibble returns policy so that you can buy in peace of mind should anything go wrong.”
Whilst some local businesses come and go, others stand the test of time and Blundell’s Hardware is one such business that can proudly celebrate its place in Longton’s history.
159-161 Liverpool Road
Longton PR4 5AB