Shopwatch: Charlton’s music shop runs out of wind, changes in the village

edwardes_woodwind
Charlton’s music shop has fallen silent after 26 years of selling and repairing instruments. Falling sales and competition from online retailers is understood to have led to the closure of Mike Edwardes Woodwind on Charlton Church Lane.

The business is now believed to be operating out of a shop in Forest Hill, although we’ve not had a response to an email asking what’s happening.

Competition from online retailers has hit music shops particularly hard, although the loss of another retailer from the Charlton Church Lane parade is a reminder that it’s not just Charlton Village that needs nurturing.

Meanwhile, the dry cleaner in The Village has reinvented itself as a gentlemen’s outfitter, London 1969. We understand cleaning trade was down and the owner fancied a change of scene. It certainly raises the bar for new businesses in the neighbourhood – we hope it’s a success.

But it’s soon to be farewell to Bowes, the shoe shop and key-cutter that’s been part of the village for decades, which is closing by the end of the year.

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About Darryl

Journalist, SE Londoner.
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12 Responses to Shopwatch: Charlton’s music shop runs out of wind, changes in the village

  1. Judith Q says:

    So sad to see music shop closing…. shops closing in general so frustrating … especially the ones you actually use, like Bowes! Let’s hope the changes that come are good ones.

  2. mr_chas says:

    The optician has now opened in the village. I believe the shop is called isight. The chaps in there seemed most friendly when I popped in.

  3. The Hebridean says:

    What’s the betting that the Music shop will become another residential unit like the ex-Computer shop? Church Lane is in grave danger of losing its Neighbourhood Parade entirely. Very sad about Bowes too. Lovely people and a great service. Where is the nearest shoe repair outlet? Sainsbury’s? Tesco? Oh how independent traders are being killed off and how we are being forced into the arms of the big stores. Choice is becoming extinct as “regeneration” brings the big boys in. The gents outfitters is a brave move in this climate. Good luck to them.

  4. Chris says:

    I always tried to make a point of using Bowes if I needed a key cut, but I’m surprised it last as long as it did.
    Quite agree with The Hebridean.

  5. roden says:

    Lots of great ideas out there! I’d go for a welcome sign at both ends of the Village plus traffic-slowing gateways (there have been multiple smashes at both ends of the Village because of cars travelling much too fast). For the traders’ sake and the life of the Village, people need to know the Village offers Free Parking and where it is. Sounds politically deeply incorrect but it doesn’t make sense to complain about shops giving up the ghost while also squeezing their footfall. Anyway, the problem is less the cars than the diesel engines. The Charlton Society has also repeatedly tried to push for 20mph through the Village but the appeal has so far fallen on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the Society is working up plans for rejuvenating the Village (and that’s not just about Christmas lights, desirable though they are) and the old links between the Village and the river. All ideas welcome!

    Very sad about Bowes and the music shop closing down, especially the latter. Bowes’ owners are taking a well-deserved retirement after running a successful little business in the Village for a long time. However Mike Edwardes’ music shop was forced out by the very internet we all love (possibly by rent rises as well?). It was another great little business serving a wide community. Given the government’s approval of turning shops into residential we have to be especially on our guard to see that it doesn’t become the second shop to go that way in Charlton Church Lane (it’s worse than that: the ugly flats building a little further up the hill once formed part of the same parade of shops).

    Keep the ideas coming, too, for the Summerhouse. Remember, it is no longer a Council responsibility but the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust’s. There are big plans under development for the Charlton House Estate. The World Monument Fund is now supporting the House (and in so doing putting it on the international map of key buildings, especially when they have a community link) – a major development. I hope some of you went to the Hornfair this month, arranged by the Trust. It took a new, completely different form (not least taking place on its traditional date, St Luke’s Day) and was a terrific success: music, local food, woodcarving, lots of kids stuff, tours, stonemasonry, exhibitions…..Charlton House is not only a unique international and national asset – it’s a local community asset: support it, use it!!

    • Neil C says:

      It would be great if someone involved with RGHT could actually communicate what these big plans are. I’ve been told off the record that things are going really well behind the scenes, but there’s little evidence for the outside world to get excited about. How does one support a community asset that is hardly open? It’d be a great time for someone (our ward councillors who are also RGHT trustees, perhaps) to start explaining what’s going on with Charlton House, what’s planned, and how people can get involved.

      • Darryl says:

        Indeed, if only there was some kind of society that could convene a meeting of all these people to bash some heads together.

        • mr_chas says:

          I agree with you wholeheartedly Darryl ( I have written to RGHT ask them when they will be having a website – just one page would be enough ! ) but could this also be done by the hyper-local residents groups working together ? CPCH = CCRA = 600 members !

        • Surely it’s the Trust’s job to explain its plans rather than the Charlton Society’s?

    • Charles says:

      I am very disappointed at your comment…
      “Given the government’s approval of turning shops into residential we have to be especially on our guard to see that it doesn’t become the second shop to go that way in Charlton Church Lane (it’s worse than that: the ugly flats building a little further up the hill once formed part of the same parade of shops).”

      The real problem with the set of shops between Nadine street and Wellington Gardens is that none of the shop owners or residents above the shops care about what the street looks like. Its probably the dirtiest pavement in Greenwich. Look at all the trash on a Monday morning in small plastic bags. The bus stop outside the building is the reason why rubbish gets left there by the bus passengers. They leave all the trash there, drugs and urinate on the staircase.
      None of these residents have bins to dispose of their rubbish, yet they pay council tax.

      The residents of the “ugly flats building” actually try to keep it neat and tidy (its a private building),

      Why does Greenwich council not clean up the mess?

    • Charles says:

      I am very disappointed at your comment…
      “Given the government’s approval of turning shops into residential we have to be especially on our guard to see that it doesn’t become the second shop to go that way in Charlton Church Lane (it’s worse than that: the ugly flats building a little further up the hill once formed part of the same parade of shops).”

      The real problem with the set of shops between Nadine street and Wellington Gardens is that none of the shop owners or residents above the shops care about what the street looks like. Its probably the dirtiest pavement in Greenwich. Look at all the trash on a Monday morning in small plastic bags. The bus stop outside the building is the reason why rubbish gets left there by the bus passengers. They leave all the trash there, drugs and urinate on the staircase.
      None of these residents have bins to dispose of their rubbish, yet they pay council tax.

      The residents of the “ugly flats building” actually try to keep it neat and tidy (its a private building),

      Why does Greenwich council not clean up the mess?

      Would you like me to place all the pictures I have taken about the filthy pavement? Its a disgrace but it has nothing to do with the flats you refer to.

  6. HI, i thought i should mention that i have relocated the music shop to Soundheart ,9 Brockley Rise ,Forest Hill SE23 1JG and can be contacted on 0208 699 4216 or 0208 333 7130 and mobile 07031 432057. My email is soundheartltd@gmail.com and i am more than happy to offer a collection /delivery service to customers in the Charlton area for any repairs and accessories,instruments and books etc,
    It was with a heavy heart that i closed the Charlton shop down after being there myself for nearly 13 years . The internet and stores like Argos and such like have eaten away at retail at a phenominal rate,and with higher rents made it very hard to survive.
    I would like to thank all of you who supported the shop during the years and i am sorry that things had to come to a close in Charlton Church Lane.
    Please do not hesitate to contact me if i can be of any service.
    Thank you all,
    Mike Edwardes

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