By SHELLEY TOPP
At 84, Bev Brain is casting off from her long-standing wool business in Rangiora’s High Street.
Bev has sold her business and is retiring after 40 years at the shop, 30 of those under her ownership.
She began working at The Wool and Fashion Shop, as it was once known, in 1979 “just to help out” when it was owned by Ken Henderson.
She bought the business with her sister Shirley Hurst in 1982, and continued on her own after Shirley retired.
Before she began working there, Bev was a caterer at Christchurch’s Windsor Golf Club.
She used to be a golfer but no longer plays.
Bev says she is retiring because she is 84 and wants to spend more time with her family.
“I feel I should be home helping my husband Allan a bit more,” she says.
She also wants to spend more time with her daughter Helen and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, who call her Geegee. “They are lovely.”
The Wool Shop has been bought by Oxford’s Erica Willoughby, who is going to turn the business into a wool and craft shop.
Bev says knitting remains a popular pastime. A resurgence of interest in learning about craft work is occurring among younger people. “I get people coming out from Christchurch to buy wool here,” she says.
Over the years, Bev has enjoyed the camaraderie of her customers, chatting with them and sharing stories, knitting knowledge and techniques.
Friday, March 29, will be her last day behind the counter at the Wool Shop.
She will be back in the shop the next day though to do stock-taking, but after that she will be officially retired.
Bev is a Rangiora Bridge Club member and retirement will also give her more time to play bridge.