A POPULAR party shop in Portsmouth city centre which closed after 96 years was immortalised at the Southsea Model Village following an unveiling ceremony.
Lord mayor David Fuller opened the miniature figure of U-Need-Us to keep fond memories of the Portsmouth shop alive.
The Slindon Street store was met with an overwhelming number of emotional messages after it was announced the shop would shut its doors for good earlier this year.
Councillor Fuller said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to unveil the new model. Sadly it is not in business anymore but it has given so many great memories for so many people in Portsmouth and now those memories will go on for many years to come.
‘It is a fantastic model which took a lot of money and time to make. We are very grateful to the owners for their hard work to make it happen.’
Meanwhile, bosses of the tiny town said they were delighted to add the shop to its glittering array of monuments from the past.
Mark Wilson, 44, co-owner of the Southsea Model Village with his brother Dean and their wives Amy and Emma, said: ‘It’s a very special day for us. We were delighted to be asked to do a miniature U-Need-Us. It took us about eight weeks to do. It was quite fiddly and we had to knock it down and start again.
‘We were happy to do it for free – it was a great shop and is somewhere people loved to go. We had a lot of help including from Dawn Roberts who did an an excellent job on the handmade windows.
‘We look forward to having new business models of shops that still exist from Southsea which will help with funding, especially as we now have to pay £3,500 for the table and chairs out the front.’
Southsea Model Village features a number of landmarks from the city including Portsmouth Guildhall and the Spinnaker Tower – with there plans to add five city shops to that list.
Steve Searle’s, who ran U-Need-Us with his sister Sandra, said: 'It’s fantastic to see the shop. It’s such a nice thing they’ve done and looks just like the shop right down to the finest details.
‘It was sad to see the shop go after being in the family for so long. I’d worked there for 35 years often doing six or seven day weeks. It was the mainstay of our lives. It was so nice to give people a laugh and get them talking about good times.’