New owner takes the reins as Betty retires from her wool shop after 30 years

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Business owner Mrs Betty Black is retiring from Pontypool Indoor Market after 30 years of working and owning Pontypool’s Sewing and Wool Shop, also known as Betty’s Wool Shop. She bought the business over twenty five years ago after working for the previous owners for six years.

The popular shop which sells sewing and knitting essentials has been a key feature in the market for many years, attracting customers from all over South Wales to Pontypool town centre. Despite the current Coronavirus pandemic which closed the market for 13 weeks back in Spring, the shop is still thriving and customers flock to the market to get their sewing and knitting supplies.

With help from the Pontypool Indoor Market management team, Mrs Black advertised her business on Facebook and received an overwhelming response. Many people commented and shared the post, which generated a lot of interest. However, it was Mrs Tania Britten who stood out from the crowd, and now takes ownership of the beloved shop.

Commenting on her time owning the business, Mrs Black recalls: “It was a dream of mine since school to own a sewing and knitting shop.

“It seems like yesterday when the opportunity came. It took me ages to decide, however when I plucked up the courage and called the owners. I’ve never looked back since.

“However, the business owner wanted the legacy of the shop to continue even after she retired.

“There has been a sewing shop in the market for almost 60 years, and this is where I bought my first Singer sewing machine! So although my dream came true, my second dream is to see the shop continue in the market after my retirement.”

Mrs Britten (the new shop owner) who has previously worked for the NHS, wanted a change of scenery and to pursue her dream. She commented: “I cannot wait to get started in the market. I love crafts and sewing and I have lots of ideas for the business. I really want to engage with the local community and host workshops and events.”

Market life runs in Mrs Britten’s family, as her uncle Mr Tom Smith used to own and run a fruit and veg shop back in Pontypool Indoor Market in the 1960’s.  

Mrs Black is looking forward to retirement and is very pleased to see the business continue for future generations to enjoy.

If you are in Pontypool pop into the market to see Mrs Britten in her new shop which she has renamed as ‘The Craft Cabin.’

Councillor Joanne Gauden, Executive Member for Economy, Skills & Regeneration, said: “I would like to wish Mrs. Black a happy retirement; she will be missed from the market.

“I would also like to thank her for staying with us in the market for 30 years – it’s such an achievement, and shows real dedication. I really do hope it was a dream come true.

“As one door closes, another ones open as they say, so a huge welcome and good luck to Mrs. Britten - we hope you can share the success as your predecessor.”

Pontypool Indoor Market is open Mondays 8am until 2pm, Tuesday to Friday 8am until 5pm and Saturdays 8am until 4pm.

Posted on: Wednesday 2nd December 2020