Waterlooville family still partying 40 years after their shop opened

PARTY PEOPLE Left to right: Gemma Evans, Linda Parry, Lana Baynton and Bruce Parry. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123583-3)
PARTY PEOPLE Left to right: Gemma Evans, Linda Parry, Lana Baynton and Bruce Parry. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123583-3)
Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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WHILE our high streets become more and more dominated by chain stores, one little shop is still partying on.

The Pink Party Shop is now in the hands of the third generation of the Parry family.

The balloon and fancy dress hire business, in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, has been trading for 40 years and was founded by June Parry.

The late Mrs Parry was a talented seamstress and, in the 1950s, worked as a costume maker and scenery designer for the BBC.

When she started a family and moved to Waterloovile she created costumes for amateur dramatics groups and hired them out to supplement her income.

She passed away in 2006, aged 82, and the business was taken on by her son Bruce, and his wife Lynda, who introduced the balloons and bouncy castle hire in the 1990s.

Mrs Parry, 59, of London Road, Widley, said: ‘It’s been great working as a family because the children were brought up doing it.

‘We would take them along to all the festivals and when we came home we’d let them count all the 10 pence pieces out on the floor.

‘They were really brought up learning how to run a business.

‘My son Jason doesn’t have anything to do with the business now but when he was younger my mother-in-law made him a pink gorilla outfit to deliver the Valentines Day balloons.

‘We’ve had so much fun over the years.’

Now the business is in the hands of Mrs Parry’s 34-year-old daughter Lana Baynton-Parry and still thriving.

She employs her 26-year-old sister Gemma Evans.

Ms Baynton-Parry said: ‘My nan was a real inspiration for me.

‘She was very arty and very creative and that’s rubbed off on me and my sister.

‘I love my job. The best part is dressing people up and seeing them transform before your eyes.

‘When people come in they always say they wish they had come here first.

‘The most popular costume at the moment is Peppa Pig which is always getting taken out but my favourite is the Jack Sparrow.’