REPAIR and maintenance work being carried out on the Penrith premises of old established Penrith food and drink retailer J. & J. Graham is proving to be a real family affair
Alan Reading, who co-owns the business with his daughter, Joanne Ashby, said the distinctive gold and black signage and woodwork at the front of the shop was last repaired 30 years or more ago and needed reviving, so several local firms were called in to do the work.
It was only when they had got to grips with the job that he realised several of the people involved were the sons of those who had carried out the last bout of maintenance three decades before.
Renewing the gold leaf on the shop’s signs is Nigel Cook, Kirkby Stephen, whose father, the late Arnold Cook, ran a sign writing business based in Great Dockray, Penrith, and carried out the same task his son is now performing.
Nigel said he is using the same methods his father did, and with the same type of 23 carat gold leaf, rather than the thinner machine-cut material now often employed.
He added that most of his gold leaf work is now done on honours boards for sports clubs, with work on commercial premises coming along only very occasionally.
Carrying out repairs to the signs and other timber work are Renwick Bros., Penrith, who put up the signs 30 years ago. The firm was founded by George Renwick, now retired, and his brother, Peter, who is still involved with the business, along with his sons, Simon and Paul. “We’re proud to be associated with a job like this for a well-known Penrith shop,” said Simon.
Also at work painting the shop’s window frames, doors and other woodwork are Sissons Decorators, Penrith, who were again involved with the last renovation. The firm was at that time run by Chris Sisson, who remains a director in the business, along with his sons, Ade and Liam. “It’s good to see so many local family firms involved with this,” said Ade.
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