End of the line for Leeds fishing tackle shop

25 August 2017 .......      Phil Edge and Graham Lancaster at their Angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson
25 August 2017 ....... Phil Edge and Graham Lancaster at their Angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson
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Fishing fans have been left reeling after a Leeds angling shop decided to hang up its hooks for the last time after 60 years.

There has been a flurry of business at Kirkgate Anglers while customers try to catch the shop for supplies before it closes over the next couple of weeks.

25 August 2017 .......     Graham Lancaster at their Angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson

25 August 2017 ....... Graham Lancaster at their Angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson

Phil Edge, 71, started working in the shop, established by his father Bob, when he was just 14-years-old and has been there ever since.

He said: “It is the end of an era. I started working for him and left school at 14. I shouldn’t have done but he needed somebody in it and I have been here ever since.

“We have had customers ever since it opened that are still coming in and want the same thing.

“Ever since we said we were closing people have been coming and telling stories and bringing boxes of chocolates and cards. We were going to close this week but some were saying ‘where will I get my stuff from so we will open for a few days in September so people can get organised.”

25 August 2017 .......      Phil Edge serves customer Ken Eastwood at his angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson

25 August 2017 ....... Phil Edge serves customer Ken Eastwood at his angling shop on Kirkgate Leeds which is shutting at the end of September after 60 years trading. Picture Tony Johnson

Mr Edge has decided to call it a day at Kirkgate and focus business on the family’s two other tackle shops, in Bradford and Outwood, where there is more room to display larger equipment such as tents and chairs which many anglers now use.

He also said there were challenges with running a specialist shop that is situated in the city centre which has contributed to his decision.

Mr Edge, from Alwoodley, said: “Kirkgate is going to be re-developed so we thought we would go before because it isn’t what it used to be.

“The shop has had its time, everything is on the internet and with no parking outside the shop that has affected business and people go somewhere more convenient.

The nature of fishing as a hobby, which ironically Mr Edge has not had time to partake in for many years due to running the shop, has also changed over the years he said, and changed the kind of products people buy.

He added: “When we first started there were factories and engineers and people used to live up the Dewsbury Road, come in for maggots and fish the river. There was a lot more skill and craft to it.

“Nowadays it is commercial ponds where the landowner fills it and it is easier fishing.”

After retirement, Mr Edge is looking forward to having more time with his family and playing golf.

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