A LONG-standing business is closing down so the owners can retire after 30 years selling lighting in Tavistock.

Barry Alcock and Trevor are due to shut down Harmony lighting on Pym Street when they have sold as much of their substantial stock of ‘quality’ lighting as possible, expected some time this year.

The married couple have survived family illness which forced premature shutdowns, a recession and the enforced pandemic closedown to thrive against the odds, but are now selling up for the final time to their own timetable after success since setting up in 1991 from a building that had to be virtually rebuilt.

Barry, who served in the Royal Navy before becoming a businessman, said: ‘Although I’m sorry to shut down after all these years, it’s really time to go and I’ll miss the customers. Trevor, who retired as a registered mental nurse, and I’d like us to enjoy our life together, rather than working too long and then perhaps being too old to make the most of life. His concern about retiring was the unknown: ‘I don’t know what it’s going to be like and how I’ll fill my time? I’ve enjoyed contining working and earning, it’s a way of life. I’d previously said I’d take it on a year-by-year basis but when my brother had a kidney transplant, it made me think that life was too short to work.’

Barry began his business after buying a listed derelict building which he helped convert, partly using his skills as an electrician learned in the Royal Navy. He said: ‘The only surviving parts of the original building are the front and back walls which we couldn’t touch because it’s a listed building, like so many in Tavistock. But I did a lot of ripping out and lifting and shifting as well as some electrical work.’

The rebuild included flats (one of which they couple live in), two of which have been sold, while another will be rented. The pair will be retaining their links with Tavistock while spending some of their time in their lodge in Snowdonia.

Barry has temporarily closed down twice before and moved, but this closure is permanent.

He said his life as the son of a paid lifeboat’s mechanic for the RNLI prepared him for life of moving home. His father served in Plymouth among other places. It also served him well for 14 years in the RN which included serving as the coxswain on board HMS Swallow, a patrol boat in Hong Kong. This covered medical, discipline and boarding parties.