Landmark Blandford shop could close after 30 years serving the town

A POPULAR Blandford store is up for sale – and could close – as the owners want to retire after some three decades in the town.

Papyrus started life as a small gift shop in Salisbury Street when owners Heather and Rob Harman moved to Dorset from Surrey, in search of a “better quality of life”.

They found it – albeit a busy life – when they launched the shop, which proved a success from the start.

“We didn’t hesitate when an opportunity arose to buy larger premises on the same street,” Heather said.

“This property was part of the original Cherry’s department store. We knew that the Georgian building with its attractive frontage and Victorian fittings throughout was the perfect outlet in which our shop could expand.”

With the move came an expansion of offerings in the shop, to include women’s clothes and homeware.

“Our customers have been loyal and every week new people discover us,” Heather went on. “Merchandising has always been extremely important to us and we present our shop in a special way, always with inspiring window displays.”

Papyrus has been in Blandford for some 30 years - famed for the window displays

Papyrus has been in Blandford for some 30 years – famed for the window displays

But now, she said it was time for the pair to take a step back – 10 years past their retirement age.

“Unfortunately the years have passed and we have reached the time when we need to retire,” she added.

“We have worked for more than 10 years past retirement age because we were reluctant to give up the business we enjoyed.

“Our customers are sad we are closing and hope it is not their last chance to visit the shop.b

“We are now hoping that another enthusiastic creative person will take over Papyrus so that it can continue to be part of Blandford.

“We would be happy to sell the business with the freehold or lease the premises.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.