If you are visiting Montgomery on holiday, your visit would not be complete without a rummage around Bunners.
Bunner’s hardware shop was established at the end of the 19th Century. It is, perhaps, their traditional values of providing great customer service, sharing in-depth knowledge about their goods, and having a wide selection of items in stock that have resulted in a loyal customer base as well as regularly attracting new customers.
Locals know that if they ever run out of anything for the home or garden, there’s a good chance Bunners will stock it. The modest frontage hides room after room of kitchen gadgets and equipment, gardening tools and supplies, children’s toys, wellies of all sizes, and DIY materials, to name a few. In addition, woodburning stoves, range cookers quad bikes and lawnmowers are also a very important feature of the business.
On a visit recently, several interesting things caught my eye. Boot spray could be just what you need if you are regularly out walking. If you have loads of small knick-knacks you want to keep safe, look no further than their handy knick-knack boxes.
If you want to keep young children amused, their selection of colourful finger puppets or the delightful animal character toothbrush timers might be just what you need. For pure fun, how about a motorised spinning spaghetti fork?
In the early days, the staff in Bunners were all male, serving a rugged masculine world supplying heavy agricultural machinery, providing engineering services and stocking all manner of nuts and bolts. But the female touch has gradually crept in as they duck and dive to stay current. The kitchen section contains things you never knew you needed, and yet would certainly enhance any home. If you are not keen on the pork pies you can get in the supermarket, the pork pie dolly might be just what you need to equip you to make your own. If you like your everyday objects to be both practical and beautiful, you couldn’t go far wrong with some of the amazing egg cups.
Of course, you may just be looking for souvenirs of your stay in the area. Bunners will not disappoint with this task either. And rather than clutter up your shelves, the souvenirs in Bunners have practical uses, such as tea towels, cushions, and mugs.
You may be able to buy a lot on the Internet nowadays, but the thrill of rooting around a shop such as Bunners can certainly be uplifting. Also not to be underestimated is the knowledge of the staff – ‘how to’, ‘when to’, ‘why this way’ – and the wisdom that comes with experience. The experienced staff also value and guide their young employees in developing indispensable ‘people skills’.
I was surprised to hear that about 50% of their customers are visitors to the town, often coming from places such as Oswestry and Shrewsbury for days out. I am pleased that the shop acts as a magnet drawing people to Montgomery, and hope that it continues to attract visitors who enjoy the thrill of discovery in this charming and fascinating shop.