‘Quality a big chain just does not offer’ - Owner of landscape shop celebrates 30 years of trade

Outside Lawnwise and Leisure Hempton Road with a small selection of machinery and fireworks. John L

Outside Lawnwise and Leisure Hempton Road with a small selection of machinery and fireworks. John Lingwood, Ant Cude, Steven Hall and Stanley Hall who is modelling the toy lawnmower. Picture: Lawnwise and Leisure - Credit: Archant

A business born when three people were made redundant is now celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Lawnwise and Leisure at Oak Street just before it opened in 1990. Picture: Lawnwise and Leisure

Lawnwise and Leisure at Oak Street just before it opened in 1990. Picture: Lawnwise and Leisure - Credit: Archant

Lawnwise and Leisure on Hempton Road in Fakenham, which sells and serviced lawnmowers and other garden machinery, has been in the market town since 1990.

Three Wigg And Plowright workers, Mike Rayner, John Lingwood and the late Stewart Manning, created the business after being made redundant.

The trio wanted to carry on and serve the local community and started their new venture together in Oak Street.

The business has grown alongside Fakenham, as the town has developed over the years.

A newspaper clipping from the Eastern Daily Press showing Stewart Manning, Mike Rayner and John Ling

A newspaper clipping from the Eastern Daily Press showing Stewart Manning, Mike Rayner and John Lingwood. Picture: Lawnwise and Leisure - Credit: Archant


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It has supported the town throughout the years, with Lawnwise And Leisure sponsoring Fakenham’s Christmas light switch on with a fantastic firework display for many years.

Sadly as time went on, Mike Rayner decided it was time to hang up his spanners and take retirement.

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Then the death of Stewart Manning left John Lingwood to take the reins and venture out on his own.

Mr Lingwood moved the business to its new location on Hempton Road and still runs the shop to this day alongside Steven Hall who started working with him back in 2016.

Stewart Manning, Mike Rayner and John Lingwood at Fakenham Lions show Senor Park 1993. They won a pr

Stewart Manning, Mike Rayner and John Lingwood at Fakenham Lions show Senor Park 1993. They won a price for the best stand. Picture: Lawnwise and Leisure - Credit: Archant

Mr Lingwood believes the quality of service is what has helped the business stick around.

“We have seen big companies come and go, and we sell a quality of product and service that a big chain just does not offer,” he said.

“It makes me feel proud to keep going after all these years.

“I have enjoyed the 30 years and I still have regular customers from over the past three decades.

“We are happy to keep going and now we can look forward to the next 30 years.”

The anniversary is a bright spot for the industry, as recently similar businesses such as Randells Garden Machinery, Rouse, Bartrams and Arco have disappeared.

The business, who host firework displays at the Fakenham Racecourse and private events, have also seen all their events cancelled due to the pandemic.

They said they cannot wait to get the displays going again as soon as they can.

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