South Holland has a long history of independent shops that opened decades ago and are still going strong because of support from people in the area.
The Spalding Guardian is keen for that support to continue which is why our Shop Local Eat Local Play Local campaign will be running throughout the year as a way of saying to independent businesses in South Holland, “We’re on your side.”
It’s this sort of spirit that will see Long Sutton electrical and toy retailer Pledgers through to its 70th anniversary next year.
The family-run business was opened by Clifford “Dick” Pledger in 1945 for charging accumulators and batteries, repairing bicylces and as a shop where radios were sold.
It was eventually taken over by long-standing employee Maurice Smith in 1967 and is now run by three of his children, David and Graham Smith and their sister Gill Wysoczanski.
She said: “My father, Maurice Smith, started working with Mr Pledger in 1945 when he was a teenager repairing radios and when he took over the business, we didn’t have a choice but to come and work in the shop after we left school.
“There are six members of the family who work here now and we’re very proud to have made it through all these years.
“It’s an achievement that people have supported us since 1945 and we can help people with any problems they have with the goods they buy from us.”
“Independent shops are part of the community and without the support of local people, we wouldn’t be here.”
Meanwhile, the two main political leaders for South Holland have been quick to get behind our campaign in support of the area’s independent businesses.
Coun Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council, said: “South Holland is a vibrant district, with lots to offer both in terms of shopping and recreation, so I am fully behind this campaign.
“As a council, we actively support local businesses to encourage the creation of jobs which boosts the local economy and we are working hard to ensure our communities remain safe, healthy and secure.”
Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We spend millions of pounds each year on goods and services from local companies and continue to work with our small firms to help them bid more competitively for our businesses.
“We also run a number of initiatives that help promote Lincolnshire products, both here in the county and further afield.
“So we’re firmly behind the Shop Local Eat Local Play Local campaign and hope you will be too.”