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Heel be ok after business handover!

PUBLISHED: 15:41 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 07 July 2010

John Coppack, left, who is taking over from Chris Thomas, right, a well known Fakenham shoe repairer, at the Fakenham Heel Bar on Oak Street.

John Coppack, left, who is taking over from Chris Thomas, right, a well known Fakenham shoe repairer, at the Fakenham Heel Bar on Oak Street.

A long-serving Fakenham shoe repairer is hanging up his hammer and handing his business down to an apprentice he trained more than 20 years ago.

Chris Thomas, 65, is retiring from the Fakenham Heel Bar after 26 years of fixing footwear, cutting keys and engraving trophies.

A long-serving Fakenham shoe repairer is hanging up his hammer and handing his business down to an apprentice he trained more than 20 years ago.

Chris Thomas, 65, is retiring from the Fakenham Heel Bar after 26 years of fixing footwear, cutting keys and engraving trophies.

But his successor was a shoe-in for the job after originally learning his trade there as a teenage YTS trainee in 1985.

John Coppack spent four years at the Oak Street shop before pursuing other careers including coach driving and delivering for the Royal Mail.

But he said he had remained friends with his former mentor and was glad to be given first refusal to buy the business, which he will take over from March 31.

“I always kept in touch with Chris and we get on really well,” he said. “I enjoy meeting people too, and there is always a bit of banter in here.

“In this industry every job is different, you don't have time to get bored.

“I will just keep everything running as Chris has done - if I didn't think it would be successful, I would not be buying it.”

Mr Coppack, 40, lives in Guist with his wife Sally and three children - Liam, 16, Gavin, 14, and nine-year-old Megan.

Mr Thomas said, despite some traditional shoe repairers closing down across the country, he was sure his business would continue to thrive despite the economic downturn.

“We are always fairly busy - a pair of good quality shoes is always worth repairing,” he said.

“I am quite happy the shop will be in good hands. John has worked here before so there is no problem - I am confident it will carry on just as well, if not better.”


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