Seaton business to close after 211 years in town centre

Akermans in the 1940s

Akermans in the 1940s - Credit: Shirley Clayton-Rogers

The oldest business in Seaton is to close down after its owner decided to retire. 

Akerman’s Ironmongers has been a fixture on Fore Street since 1811, although it moved from its original premises to the current site in 1840.

The store has been run by David Rogers since the 1980s when he took it over from his parents, who had managed it since 1962.

Akermans in 1971, with signs highlighting its 160 years in Seaton

Akermans in 1971, with signs highlighting its 160 years in Seaton - Credit: Shirley Clayton-Rogers

He continued to run it as an old-fashioned, traditional hardware store, stocking an enormous range of items, including many that have disappeared from more modern shops years ago. 

David’s wife Shirley said: “If you can’t find it in David’s shop, you probably don’t need it anyway.” 

The couple had hoped to sell the business as a going concern, but no-one came forward, so it will be wound up over the next few months – to the disappointment of its customers. 

Current owner David Rogers in Akermans

Current owner David Rogers in Akermans - Credit: Shirley Clayton-Rogers

David said: “I think the town will be sad to see it go. Since we said we were closing, the number of people we’ve had in saying ‘what are we going to do when you’ve gone’?’” 

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He said the Akerman business started out as a shipwrights, based in North Devon. 

The family later relocated to Seaton and branched out into ironmongery. The shop also sold fishing equipment and later, an important part of the business was recharging the accumulator batteries in valve radios.