Hardware Harry calls it a day

HARRY DEACON (right) says the demise of the humble backyard shed is the reason he’s selling his hardware store after 30 years.

When he opened Attadale Hardware dads and granddads still tinkered in the back shed with their kids.

“There are no sheds built on those 400sqm blocks now,” he says. “One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in 30 years in the men’s shed is no longer.

“I had this bloke I know who moved into a home, who said his biggest lament was not having his shed anymore.”

Mr Deacon, 67, says major suppliers are bowing low to the big hardware barns.

“I’m not getting the assistance from the suppliers, like I used to,” he says.

“It’s a lot harder and I’m battling to place orders. And the suppliers generally just want to serve the big two.”

When he opened there were six hardware stores in the area. His Davis Road shop is the last one standing.

He’d managed to survive so long because he’d provided old-fashioned service.

“A lot of people come in and need help, so I would lend out tools to them so you become part of the community.

“When I put the sign out the front saying I was selling, some of the customers threatened to spray paint over it because they didn’t want me to leave.

“They are very disappointed but I’ve got to retire now.”

He says he’s finally going to do something he has neglected for 30 years—some DIY on his own home.

“It’s really sad I’m retiring but I’m looking forward to traveling and seeing my daughter who lives in England.”

by BRENDAN FOSTER

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