Wakefield band frontman opens new vintage store in his hometown

Eye Wood shop owners Matt Abbott, Robin Goodall and Natalie Liddle.
Eye Wood shop owners Matt Abbott, Robin Goodall and Natalie Liddle.
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A NEW art and vintage boutique – owned by an indie spoken word artist – has opened in Wakefield.

Shoppers flocked to the opening of the Eye Wood store last week, which is owned by former Skint and Demoralised frontman Matt Abbott, along with Dewsbury-based artists Natalie Liddle and Robin Goodall.

The shop on Wood Street sells a range of vintage clothing, furniture and collectable items.

Matt said: “We’re hoping to bring something a little bit different and perhaps a bit unexpected to the local shopping scene.

“I think Wakefield has always been lumped with a certain image when it comes to local culture, and I think it’s very unfair.

“There’s some great local independent trade out there, art shops, cafes, record shops and antiques, you just have to know where to look for it.”

He added: “The opening of the Hepworth, Wakefield’s Art House, and gig venue, Unity Hall, which is set to open in September, are all fantastic additions to the Wakefield art and music scene.

“It’s definitely an up and coming area and I’m pleased to be a part of it!”

Speaking about the new store, he added: “We wanted to give small, local businesses the chance to retail their stock in a shop on the high street.

“By renting a small unit they have an opportunity to sell without having to pay to rent an entire shop – something that small businesses just can’t afford to do these days. And by inviting lots of smaller businesses to take up space in our shop, we have better range of retail to offer shoppers.

“We’ve already got several vintage clothing and accessories concessions in store, along with some furniture, jewellery, artwork, gifts and collectable items.”

The opening event last week featured performances from local artists.

As well as the retail space, the site also has three floors of event and studio space.

Robin said: “We want to make Eye Wood a key creative hub in the city.”

Matt added: “We already have acoustic events, private film screenings, spoken word nights and workshops planned in the near future.

“Our top floor is being transformed into a community darkroom for budding local photographers to develop their photographs.

“We’re also taking over Wood Street as part of Wakefield’s Long Division festival in September.

“We can’t wait to be a part of the bustling community.”

The shop is open from Monday to Saturday, from 11pm to 6pm.

Young persons outreach worker Carwen Jones, of Basis Yorkshire, looks over the In Our Own Words exhibition. Pictures: Simon Hulme

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