Johnson’s Ironmongers in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, has closed down. Philip Johnson, who was the fourth generation of the Johnson family to run the shop, had owned the business since 1952, but died in January at the age of 88, and the family decided to close down rather than keep the business going.
The shop has been in existence since 1888, and moved to its present site on Chatsworth Road in 1898 when it became a general ironmongers. It was an old-fashioned shop with bare boards on the floor, a paraffin pump in the corner and idiosyncratic opening hours – including Wednesday half-day closing, and closing for lunch. But it was much loved by its customers, and the news of its closure has caused some sadness.
Johnson’s was the last independent hardware shop serving Chesterfield’s population of 70,000, and had held its own against nearby branches of B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and Focus DIY. The town now has only multiples: a B&Q Warehouse, Wickes, The Range, Wilko, two Screwfix trade counters, and a number of builders merchants.