Overwhelmed by wellwishers – Knowle's favourite newsagents retire

May 25 2018
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PETER and Judy Read, who have run Broadwalk News in Knowle for more than 25 years, have sold the shop in order to retire.

Pictured: Peter Read, centre, with new owner Azim Ahmed and councillors Hopkins and Davies

PETER and Judy Read, who have run Broadwalk News in Knowle for more than 25 years, have sold the shop in order to retire.

The couple are well known to almost everyone who shops in Knowle. Cllr Chris Davies writes in his column for the Voice, “There are other shops in the area that sell a lot of the things that Broadwalk News sells,  but they cannot compete with the commitment to the community. 

“As local councillors Gary Hopkins  and I know most things that go on in the area, but if we were to miss something we knew where to get updated.”

Mr Read said he and Judy have been “overwhelmed” by the number of wellwishers. “It’s an emotional time for both of us. We are just so grateful to everybody for being such good and loyal customers over 27 years,” he said. The couple live in Whitchurch, but Peter will still be active in the Knowle and  Totterdown local history society.

“We have tried to make it a friendly place to come and we have always tried to engage with our customers,” he said.

Since taking over the shop in January 1991 the Reads have extended and improved it but they haven’t changed the mix from a traditional convenience and newsagents. The formula “ has lasted us well,” Peter said, but he sees the market changing.

Broadwalk News is rare nowadays in carrying a wide range of magazines but demand for these is shrinking as people get more of their news and information from the internet. Likewise, people buy less stationery because they use computers to communicate rather than  write letters, Peter said. “But you cannot stop progress,” he added. 

“We both grew up in the area, and all our friends and family still live here,” he said. “Eventually we will probably be doing more in the community but for the time being we will enjoy our retirement and visit friends and family and do things we haven’t had the chance to do.”