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The Old Turnpike and the Roman Road

Last Day for Castle’s Surplus Store

Castle's display window  on the shop's last dayCastle’s side display window.

The Castles Surplus Store in Stony Stratford has opened for the last time. I’ve been a customer of the shop since about 1985, buying workwear, boots and camping equipment, but they’ve had a shop in the High Street since 1968. I wrote more about the shop when they announced their closure, in November.

On Saturday the 19th, I arrived in Stony Stratford before the shop opened at 9am ready to see Gary Castle open up the shop. I wanted to photograph Gary closing the shop up in the afternoon, and he told me that it wouldn’t be before 3pm.

I came back in the afternoon before 3pm but the shop stayed open. I bought a few items; it was my last chance. I took some photos of Ron Castle, Gary’s father and founder of the shop and waited a little longer, but I found that Gary had decided to close up at 4.

I went out into the High Street and pottered around, then came back to take the last photos. Gary locked the door, and flipped the door sign to Closed.

Castle's last dayCastle’s Surplus Store, 8:50am, Saturday 19th January.

Opening Castle's for the last timeIt’s 9am. Gary Castle unlocks the shop door for the last time…

Gary Castle flips the sign to 'Open' on the shop's last day…and flips the door sign to ‘open’.

Taking out display goods on Castle's last dayGary takes display goods outside.

Mr. Ron CastleRon Castle in his shop coat. Ron founded
Castle’s Surplus Store in 1968.

Gary Castle locks up the shop for the last timeGary locks the shop for the last time…

Gary Castle flips the sign to 'Closed' on the shop's last day…and turns the sign to ‘closed’.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave a comment below.

Comments

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so sad...and the lack of comments makes it much more so. end of an era.

I started some work that means I end up in Stony Stratford once a week. I was just thinking how handy it was that I could just pop into Castle's before I went home, when their closure was announced.

I've been buying things from there since at least 1985.

I didn't realise Castles had closed. I used to shop there when I was in Milton Keynes buying all manner of tools. I still have a large spanner in my tool box complete with their price label on!

Very sorry to read of its closure, bought from there since 1996 when we moved to MK. Similar shop, the oldest shop on Bedfords High Street, also closed recently in our new home town. Sadly no place for traditional shops it seems

Its mixed feelings, I visited this Shop 24 years ago in 1999 when I visited Milton Keynes for a BIZ trip and Stayed in Stony Stratford. I am Sri Lankan and I was Just 30 Years by then. I apparently Visited 'Castles Surplus Store' NOT really redeemer what I bought, but when I was watching a Video today I made at that time, it happened to me see this store and brought my memory 24 years back. I am also Very happy with DIY stuff and may be that would have been my attraction to this store. In Sri Lanka those days we never had this kind of an ‘All in One’ type stores/chains.
I was staying in Calverton Lodge Hotel for 2 weeks. During my stay I visited around the town. By seeing these comments, I felt really sorry to see and hear this close-down, but I assume Gary still in good health.

Pradeep

I haven't seen Gary since the shop closed, but I know he had already found a job. I miss the shop; I would visit it every time I went to Stony Stratford. I used to get my padded shirts there.
(Added) The building quickly became a Veterinary surgery, and one of the ladies who worked in Castle's found a job there when it opened. I think I saw her through the window as I passed by today.

Roger

Roger, Thanks for the update. Also happy to hear about Gary as he found a job during these days cuz globally its Not easy due to heavy inflation caused by residual impacts of COVID and running War. However, Closure of Castle was not due to COVID as its almost 1 year prior which I assume as a natural closure.
Infact I was trying to locate the block which Castle was operated, by surfing up and down of the street using google maps but it was not a success. However, with your lead I managed locate the find the Veterinary surgery. And also the street now bit looks modern and I felt If I could visit one day even to see my Old hotel location (Calverton Lodge), Looks it also closed. I assume you are also living not very far to Stoney Strafford since you recently passed by the lot ?
Anyway Thanks for the update/response as it helped me to supplement my pleasant memories from my 1st UK visit. This felts me there are people who cares about such sensitivities around our lives.

Pradeep,

I'm in South Milton Keynes. By the way, the live music scene in Stony Stratford, which you might remember from your visit, is thriving with three or four regular venues.

Roger

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