'End of an era’: Family-run business set to close in town after 60 years

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May.

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

It has spanned three generations and has been synonymous with a town for 60 years.

Having provided quality soft furnishings for decades, a prominent independent family-run business is set to close its doors at the end of this month.

The curtain has come down as the "end of an era" is marked at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft with the current owners set to retire as the town centre shop in London Road North closes.

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May.

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The home decor, blinds, curtains and soft furnishings shop was established in Lowestoft in 1962 with Eric and Wendy Moore having run the popular business in its current base for 25 years.

Scenes from yesteryear at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft.

Scenes from yesteryear at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

Mrs Moore said: "It is bittersweet and the end of an era.


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"This shop has always been in my life.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

"To have three generations out of a shop like this, well it is going out on a high as we are such a busy little shop."

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With her family involved in the business since the 1960s, Mrs Moore recalled how her grandfather Frank William Knights had "built it all up."

Scenes from yesteryear at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft.

Scenes from yesteryear at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

The first F.W. Knights store ran in a "small unit" in Bevan Street, Lowestoft selling "cottons and elastics" for a while until the High Street shop "was ready to open" in 1962.

Mr Knights and Sam Kirby established Kirby and Knights in 1962 on Lowestoft High Street after both had worked at Tuttles on Station Square.

Not long after this, Mr Knights took sole charge of the business until 1986 when the shop moved to London Road North.

Scenes from yesteryear - previous owner Joyce Killett at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft.

Scenes from yesteryear - previous owner Joyce Killett at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

It was then run by Wendy's mother Joyce Killett and her husband Tony for a decade.

Scenes from yesteryear - previous owners Joyce and Tony Killett at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft.

Scenes from yesteryear - previous owners Joyce and Tony Killett at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

From 1992 to 1996 Mr and Mrs Moore ran a second F.W. Knights shop in Kirkley, eventually taking over the town centre shop in 1996 when the Killett's retired.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore pick up the keys from previous owners Joyce and Tony Killett.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore pick up the keys from previous owners Joyce and Tony Killett as they took over F.W. Knights in Lowestoft in 1996. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

With the lease being terminated at the end of month, Mr Moore said: "It will be quite sad and we will miss our customers.

"We have had a large, loyal base of customers in the area, delivering outside of Lowestoft and across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May.

Scenes from yesteryear - Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: The Moore family - Credit: The Moore family

"It's the personal service that the shop has been built on all these years."

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May.

Wendy and Eric Moore at F.W. Knights in Lowestoft, which is set to close at the end of May. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The couple are looking forward to spending more time with their family, playing tennis and helping others through the Lowestoft Lions club.

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