HER lampshades have graced the Royal yacht Britannia and Portsmouth Cathedral.
And over a career spanning decades, Jacqueline Fisher has been a fixture at Lampshades, Braids and Fringes in Marmion Road, Southsea.
But Jacqueline is going to lock the doors of the business that has been in her family since 1945 for the final time on the last day of October.
The 76-year-old, of Granada Road, Southsea, says her work is no longer in demand.
As a result she has been unable to pay her rates and with no-one in the family willing to take over the shop or turn it into a different type of business, Mrs Fisher has been forced to close it.
She said: ‘A lot of the manufacturing companies have stopped making the things I need to make lampshades. I can’t get the trimmings I need anywhere because they’re out of fashion now.
‘A lot of my customers are older and as they die I’m getting less and less orders. People don’t want handmade lampshades anymore.
‘All the stuff we sell is coming in from Japan now and it’s so cheap – we just can’t compete.’
Mrs Fisher’s father Reginald Copps bought the store in 1945 and ran it as a bike shop for around six years before her mother Winifred took it over in the 1950s.
She turned it into a lampshade business and Mrs Fisher, who worked as a dental nurse at the time, helped out in the shop from the mid 1950s.
Alongside her mum, Mrs Fisher helped make shades for the Royal yacht and venues like the former Savoy Ballrooms, in Southsea.
Having taken on most of the running of the business over the years, Jacqueline then inherited it in 1994 when her mum died at the age of 91, and ran it with her husband John.
‘I don’t want to close the shop because I love doing it and it’s part of my family history,’ she said.
‘But I’m 76 years old and my husband’s 80 years old, our age is against us. John is very ill and I look after him at home, then I come in here and sometimes I don’t get any customers for the whole month. It’s costing us a lot of money to keep it going and it’s all coming out of our pension.
‘I had to sell my counter last year and I had the phone turned off because I can’t afford the rates anymore. It will break my heart to see it go, it’s a very special place to me and I have so many memories here, but it’s no use getting into debt at my age.’
The shop is open 11am to 3pm on Wednesdays to Saturdays inclusive and will close at 3pm on October 31.
by SHEANNE MULHOLLAND