No 51 the High Street, Tenterden, Webbs the Ironmongers - The first impression is of a surfeit of tempting seasonal wares, from Christmas trees to mowers, bird tables to barrows, spilling out over the forecourt. When you enter the shop there is an intimacy that beckons every DIY enthusiast and gardener to explore the vast array of products.. And for the tradesman and amateur alike there is always the attraction of mature professional advice from the trade counter in the darker recesses at the rear of the shop.
GRANDFATHER WILLIAM COMES TO TENTERDEN.
Webbs is one of the few independent family businesses in Tenterden that can trace its business over three generations. Brothers Nigel and Graham Webb now run the firm, together with Carol Webb in the cookshop. Their grandfather, William, took it over as a going concern from Mr H.E.Kettle who established the hardware shop in 1917 and in 1925, with a bank loan, he was able to purchase the shop outright for £750. In 1935 William moved to Tenterden and built a substantial house in St Michaels which remained the family home until 1967. Today it is the Little Silver Hotel.
William acquired his first hardware store in Sittingbourne in 1910 and his brothers set up similar businesses in Folkestone and Bournemouth.
Over the past eighty years, the premises have more than trebled in size. In 1963 Nigel and Grahams father, Eric, and his brother, Ron, bought what had been a grocery store, Strangers. No 45 now the flourishing Webbs Kitchen and homeware store and is now successfully managed by Nigel and Graham's stepmother Carol. Its china and glass department includes prestigious names such as Dartlington, Royal Dalton, Villeroy & Boch and Emma Bridgewater.
2002 saw the third store being opened, this time in Battle, East Sussex. Webb's Home & Garden Store was something of an experiment and opened as the first of the Webb's satellite shop. The front of the shop is home to DIY, power tools and hardware, step through to the back room to find the cookware and kitchen equipment, garden tools, paint, electrical goods and lightbulbs!
Established in 2007 the Linen & Gift store in Tenterden. Born very much out of necessity for the ever increasing demand for somewhere that offered an extensive and exciting range of quality textiles, accessories and gifts. We beleive we have fullfilled this brief - and with some flare!
Graham and Nigel have recently opened a cookshop in West Malling, Kent along with Darren Smith - for further details please visit www.smithandwebbcookshop.co.uk
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