New manager gives new life to historic Whitby shop

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One of Whitby’s oldest shops is under new management, and is thriving as much as it ever has done.

Spanton 1883, originally just known as Spantons, has been a mainstay of historic street Flowergate, sitting proudly opposite the Little A pub since 1883.

The shop was founded by Robert Spanton who came to Whitby from Thornton Le Dale in 1869.

In 1883, he set up in business on his own as a ‘hatter, hosier and Gentlemans Mercer’ in the premises still held today at 16 Flowergate.

The business stayed in the Spanton family until 1974, when it was taken over by Bob Barleycorn, and then his daughter Lynda Robinson until May 2018.

And now, it has had new life breathed into it, with a rebrand, in honour of the shop’s opening year, to Spanton 1883, and an enthusiatic new owner in Karen Noble.

“We’ve had to change with the times a bit, in terms of what we actually sell and how we sell it,” the new owner said.

“When I took over, I made a few changes. I redesigned the window displays to bring it up to date, and I’ve changed a few things inside too, in terms of the layout.

“We naturally still cater for our older customers, but we’re starting to get some more younger customers in too which is great, it shows that we’re really coming with the times again.

“I’ve got some lovely locals that come into the shop too, and they’re all behind supporting local businesses, which I think is great because we have some excellent local shops in the town.”