England

James Brett furniture workshop closes in Norwich after 100 years

  • 24 June 2013
  • From the section England
Brett, Norwich
Image caption Jonathan Brett, James's great grandfather, founded the furniture business in Norwich in 1870

A furniture restorer is closing his Norwich workshop after 100 years on the same site.

James Brett's family has been trading since 1870 and opened the workshop on St Giles Street in about 1905.

Its contents have been auctioned in Suffolk and the 265 lots fetched £21,500.

The workshop peaked with about 100 employees in the 1920s, but it has recently had just one part-time employee.

The sale took place at Abbotts auction rooms at Campsea Ashe near Woodbridge.

The lots included locks, furniture mounts in ormolu and escutcheons.

Image caption James Brett said the family's antiques shop would remain open

'Sad day'

Mr Brett, 70, is the fourth generation of the Brett family to have worked in the business. The family also owned shops in Great Yarmouth, Beccles and Ipswich.

He said: "It's a sad day for me as I've done it for 50 years, but I'm pleased with the sale as the items will be used by other restorers.

"There will always be a demand for restoring fine furniture, but I'm closing because the future is for smaller workshops and it's not economic for me to run a large one."

The company's antique shop in Norwich will remain open.

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