Barrington store closure an end of an era

Barrington General Store owner Penny Lane with her two companions ... the store is closing down. Picture: MARK JESSER

Barrington General Store owner Penny Lane with her two companions ... the store is closing down. Picture: MARK JESSER

A 134-YEAR chapter will this month come to an end for Barrington General Store.

The store, originally believed to be a base for a steam threshing operation, was bought by Kentish councillor Penny Lane when she moved to Tasmania 11 years ago.

Cr Lane said the store was the last of the original "little shops" in the Kentish region.

"The shop was built in 1880, the Hobart Times had a notice in Barrington that the shop had opened on January 4," she said. "It's a beautiful little building, I've got a picture of it from 1915, it has not changed one bit, apart from a gravel road."

A former Sydney emergency nurse, born in a store in Southern England, Cr Lane said she decided to run the Barrington shop as part of her Tasmanian sea-change.

She said a change in the region's commercial dynamic and the influence of larger stores' buying power meant a decline in business for the shop. "When this was the heyday, you wouldn't even think of going to Sheffield to get your goods, you would come here," Cr Lane said. "I want to find some way to celebrate the shop as well, I don't want to let it just disappear."

A sausage sizzle, traction engine display and commemorative group photo will be held during a celebration of the store's life from 11am on Sunday, June 29.

"I don't know what I'll do with this physical room, it's a very big area in the shop," Cr Lane said. "I'm not sure what's the next step, but I will find something, I want to live and die in Barrington."

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