Anson Electronics is celebrating 40 years in their premises on Boulevard, West Hull this year, and owner Debbie Anson wants the local community to help them, with ideas on how to mark this milestone.
This ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ started life in an old air raid shelter, before moving some years later into the former People’s Dispensary at 167-183 Boulevard.
The electronics retailer has continued to trade through tough times for the sector, times which have seen bigger electronics firms crash, with Maplin the latest big name victim in the area.
Miss Anson explained why this small family business has proved such a success, as well as a link with a world famous recording studio, which has recorded some of the biggest names in music.
She said: “The business originally set up in an air raid shelter, at a little house down Halcyon Avenue in Hessle, in the middle of a recession.”
So why does it work, in a 120-year-old building on Boulevard? “I think it works here, because we’ve been here a long time, it’s mainly by word-of-mouth.
“We do our best to give a good service, we care about customers, because it’s a family business, so it’s a bit more of a personal service, we want people to be happy.”
“We regularly get called an Aladdin’s Cave, we thought we might need to build a cave to take all the stock at one point.”
The local community is obviously a very big deal for the business: “Yeah it’s very important, we’re only a small, family business, and we also support local community events that happen.
“I also live above the shop, so it’s not just a shop and business, it’s where I live, so yes I like to get involved in the good positive stuff that happens round here.”
So how much has the business changed in the four decades they have been serving this community? “It’s changed massively, we were trade only, we would supply all the shops, and businesses.
“In those days people repaired things, it didn’t just go to landfill, nowadays I’m sure they design things only to last three or four years, then throw it away.
“Years ago you’d get your TV repaired, or people rented TV’s because they couldn’t afford to buy one, so things lasted a lot longer.
“We used to supply the retail shops and the service departments with the components to fix them.”
The first ever customer to walk into the shop on Boulevard was Keith Herd of the famous Fairview Studio, which has recorded work by the likes of Mick Ronson and the Spiders From Mars, Def Leppard, The Housemartins and The Beautiful South, as well as Basil Kirchin.
Miss Anson explains: “We deal with a lot of musicians and DJ’s, pubs and clubs or people just wanting party lighting.”
“Our first ever customer here was Keith Herd of Fairview Studio, he recorded some of the biggest names in music, but is such a nice man.
“You’d never know what he has done, to look at him, he just looks like an ordinary Hull man.”
Despite people not realising they are there, the business does still receive a lot of trade thanks to the word-of-mouth in the area.
“We regularly get people coming in several times a week, because they’ve been directed to us, they might have lived here for years and not realised we’re here, until they get told about us.”
How will they celebrate such a milestone for the business? “Has anybody got any ideas?
“My dad Laurie was really liked, it’s amazing really, after his funeral people were coming up to us to tell us what he had done to help them, so that was really nice.”
“We want the community involved in how we celebrate this achievement, so if anybody has any ideas, please feel free to come and tell us.”