Chorleywood can breathe a sigh of relief… Lords, the new owners of Poores, are retaining the essence of the store in Lower Road which re-opens its doors this month after a major refit.
“All the important things that people love about Poores are the same, including the team, dedicated service and the popular ranges dwon to the freebie dog biscuits.” confirms Manager Anthony Forshaw, “We will carry on the service that Poores gave to the community. By stripping the shop back we have been able to create a safer environment with a cleaner, fresher look and are excited about opening as Lords, we are sure customers will approve.”
There has always been a lot of love for the legendary DIY/hardware/homeware shop which has been standing on the same site in Lower Road since it opened as Gulletts in 1958.
Roy Bastin worked for Gulletts for 28 years. He now lives in Suffolk with his wife Jan who was receptionist and Practice Manager at the Lower Road Doctors’ surgery from 64 to 87
“ I came out of the forces in 1959 and started working with Gullett & Sons then went into the Lower Road shop (Gullett Building and Timber Supplies) three years later where I worked with the first manager, George Lane. We sold bathroom suites and gradually moved into paint and papers, glass and timber and bags of cement. It was the biggest shop of its kind around. People came to Chorleywood from all over the place. There was a smaller DIY shop in Mill End and we would send each other customers. We had a train set in the window at Christmas that created a stir and a young lad who worked in the shop, Tony Morgan, used to set it up.
Cyril Tye joined Gulletts as a handyman and shop assistant when Little Chalfont Hardware store closed and remained with the shop when Poores took over when he would have been in his 80s. He was a grafter and a gentleman with a wicked sense of humour liked by all and never had a day off sick.
Derek Wallington, worked in the business from 1964 -1989
“It was my life. I joined Head Office and looked after the operation as Office Manager for the group then moved over to the retail on the admin side and bought the Chorleywood shop from the Gullett family in 1981 and ran it for eight years with Glen Plews as Manager. We had the Table Talk franchise, specialising in tableware like Wedgwood. We took part in trade shows, events in Chorleywood House grounds and worldwide conferences and trips as members of the British Hardware Federation (BHF), including a Norwegian study tour where our retailer hosts became our guests the following year. I have some lovely memories, especially working alongside Claude Gullett who was a true professional. Our aim was always to provide a courteous and knowledgeable service to the local community. I sold the business to John Poore in 1987”
Clive Gullett, son of Ralph Gullett, retired 10 years ago and is the last surviving family member who was involved with the business.
“ I worked on the building side Gullett and Sons Ltd, rather than in retail, but witnessed lots of changes over the years. The Chorleywood shop really blossomed and expanded in the early 70s.. it was the place to go for anything to do with the home, glass was cut to size, all sorts of DIY materials were sold, and cement (Marley Mix) was home delivered. If the shop didn’t have something in stock they would order it and would excel in helping people by advising on projects and have done ever since.”
Eleanor Clarke, customer, remembers
“In the late 60s Gulletts was crammed with tools and bits of wood, there was just room to get in and get to the cash desk which was inside a wooden cubby hole. The shop has always been the place to go for anything useful! ”
See the timeline here