Northampton ironmonger twins to close up shop after 48 years
Two brothers behind one of the oldest ironmongers in Northampton have decided to hang up their welding masks for good.
Twins Max and John Slatter are closing shop at Slatter & Sons ironmongers after working there for 48 years.
Max said: “We did the gates for the crematorium in Milton Malsor. We like to think when we go, we’ll pass through our own gates.”
The 67-year-old brothers’ wrought-iron gates can be seen across Northampton, including at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Sheep Street and the All Saints Church in Earls Barton.
Their father opened the workshop in Spencer Bridge Road in 1958 and employed his sons when aged 18.
“We asked him after four years if we would ever get a holiday. He replied with ‘I don’t pay you enough to get holidays’.
“One of the best jobs we ever did was a safety rail for the Watney Manns brewery narrowboat. They would bring us a bucket of beer every day.
“We had to install a lot of fire escapes on the sides of buildings. We used to have a beer for Dutch courage as we didn’t have scaffolding then.
Slatter & Sons will close its doors in early May.
Max added: “It’s been a good life. The work’s enjoyable but the heavy-lifting gets harder as you get older.
“We’ve educated our children so they don’t have to do this sort of work. We’ve got on with it, but it doesn’t pay well.
“The industry has gone from Northampton. But unlike Timkin and the Shoe & Boot quarter, we’ve at least had the choice to close.”
The brothers plan to enjoy their retirement with their grandchildren and keep their hands busy fixing classic sports cars and tractors.