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Willesden Salvage: Second-hand shop to shut after 25 years as family packs up and moves to countryside

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2018

Daniel, Jamie, Samantha and Declan Harkin are closing Willesden Salvage Yard. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Daniel, Jamie, Samantha and Declan Harkin are closing Willesden Salvage Yard. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

A Willesden family are trading trash for unknown treasures as they prepare to shut up their salvage shop after 25 years and move on.

Jamie, Samantha, Declan and Daniel Harkin are closing Willesden Salvage Yard. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergJamie, Samantha, Declan and Daniel Harkin are closing Willesden Salvage Yard. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Declan Harkin and his wife Samantha are selling Willesden Salvage in the High Road and heading off to the country.

The visually appealing bric-a-brac shop and adjoining yard is stuffed with old furniture, fireplaces and “all manner of things” brought in by customers.

“I’ll probably miss it but we just decided we’ve had enough – it’s time to do something different,” said Declan, who repaired cars before turning his hand to upcycling and restoring second-hand goods.

He came across the old scrapyard in 1993 and offered to rent the premises from the then owner Mr Holland.

The 54-year-old added: “I like old stuff and restoring stuff so I thought I’d give it a go. I had the opportunity of running the property and went from there. In 2010 I was able to buy it.

“We live above the property and [there’s] all the noise, all the traffic, I can’t afford to buy another property here so we’re going.”

Over the years he’s restored thousands of indoor and outdoor items such as fireplaces, interior doors, and stained glass windows. The shop has sold second-hand goods including restored lighting, street signs, mannequins, and pommel horses.

Customers have bought in old shoes and washing machines, he added – “hundreds of different things”.

Eldest son Jamie, 25, along with his 23-year-old brother Daniel, used to help out at weekends. Jamie said: “My father started this when I was a baby but neither my brother nor I are interested in carrying it on.

“Mum and dad fancy trading it in for ponies and chickens and getting a farm in Devon somewhere.

“I don’t think my dad will ever get out of this business, though – he’ll never give up doing repairs and odd jobs.”

He added: “A lot of people see this shop as a real staple of the area and we want to say a big thank you to them.”

Declan said no plans have been made. “I’m not sure what I want to do just yet – nothing’s set in stone. We’re closing the business down by the end of October then we’ll look at selling.

“We just want to let people know we’re closing down.”

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