LOCAL music shop Strings ‘n’ Things in Bridgwater will be closing its doors after 37 years due to the retirement of proprietor Paraic Dwyer.

Mr Dwyer first opened Strings ‘n’ Things in a small shop in Court Street, but it soon outgrew the premises and four years the store moved to Royal Clarence House in Clare Street, where it has been trading ever since.

Throughout the good times, and some hard times, it has always been a busy hub of music in Bridgwater, catering for local - and not so local - musicians, from beginners to bands and everyone in between.

They have even had the likes of KT Tunstall, The Wurzels, Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze through the door - Chas & Dave even popped in to pick up some banjo strings ahead of a performance at Butlin’s in days gone by.

Mr Dwyer said: “We have been well supported over the years by local people and have a regular customer base - in some families that includes second and third generations!

“Some of our customers have been visibly upset to hear we are going.

“We have also been lucky over the years to have the wonderful support of Ivor Peters, Rob Husband, local musician Paul Toplis and most recently guitar teacher Ben Modley.

“However retirement has been beckoning for a while and it is time to move on.”

Paraic’s son Tom has also worked in the shop for most of his life, from Saturday boy to professional musician.

And while it may seem the natural progression for him to take it on, he is also seeking pastures new and relocating to Cornwall.

Keeping in touch with the Strings ‘n’ Things name however, Tom plans to continue the other side of the business, specialising in guitar repairs, re-strings and set ups.

Strings ‘n’ Things has always been a family affair, with Paraic’s wife Sheila keeping the books in order, and son Paul and daughter Lizzy also helping out over the years.

Paraic and Tom said they would like to take the opportunity to thank all of their loyal customers and wish them continued enjoyment and success with their music.

“While we are winding down and clearing the stock levels, we are still extremely busy with last minute repairs and set-ups,” Paraic said.

“And there are still some new and second hand bargains to be had, so do pop in and see us. If music be the food of love - play on!”