ONE of the oldest shops in Warminster is to close after serving its local community for more than 140 years.

S L Corden & Sons is to close its doors for the final time on Saturday, September 30.

Business owner Sue Fraser, 78, has decided to close the 141-year-old business after her landlord gave her notice to quit the premises.

“I’m very sad, because Corden’s has been part of the Warminster scene for more than a century,” said Mrs Fraser.

“The landlord wants us out. He wants to sell the building and wants it empty.”

Wiltshire Times: Sue Fraser behind the ironmongery counter at S L Corden & Sons shop which is closing in September. Photo: Trevor Porter 70069-4Sue Fraser behind the ironmongery counter at S L Corden & Sons shop which is closing in September. Photo: Trevor Porter 70069-4 (Image: Trevor Porter)

SL Corden is a traditional hardware and kitchenware store situated in Warminster High Street where it has been running since 1882.

The business was originally known as Haden’s Ironmongery before being acquired by Sidney Corden, who changed its name and expanded its product range.

The shop is staging a 50 per cent off everything closing down sale, including its fixtures and fittings.

“The only thing we can’t sell is the ironmongery section because it has a covenant on it going back to the 1800s saying it can never be changed.”

Mrs Fraser bought the business in 2007 and says it’s closure will mean the end of an era, particularly for the four staff she employs.

Three of her staff have worked there for between 25 and 30 years, while the fourth has been there four years.

Mrs Fraser added: “People say why don’t you move but it would not work. It is the building that makes the shop and I would like to retire as well.”

In its heyday, Corden’s was the place to go in Warminster for tools, DIY, gardening, kitchenware, sugarcraft and gifts but trade slumped during the Covid-19 pandemic and has never fully recovered.

Corden’s is not the only shop to close in Warminster. Number Ten Interiors at 29 High Street and a former Planet Games shop have also closed.

Number Ten Interiors owner Adele Kammeyer, 60, said: “I have run the business now for ten years and just wanted to do something different and find a new challenge.”

Warminster Town Council town clerk Tom Dommett said the town has been fortunate to have lots of small independent shops and has not been subjected to many national store closures.

“We have got quite a high occupancy rate and fortunately we have not got too many empty shops,” he said.