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Bag from the brink - shop reopens after losing everything in fire

PUBLISHED: 12:23 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 11 April 2018

Alan Pitt, who owns The Bag Shop with wife, Debbie. Picture: Jacob Massey

Alan Pitt, who owns The Bag Shop with wife, Debbie. Picture: Jacob Massey

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A bag shop has re-opened after its owners lost everything in the major fire which devastated the main tourism thoroughfare in Great Yarmouth nearly two years ago.

The Bag Shop has reopened after being destroyed in the 2016 fire in Regent Road. Picture: Jacob MasseyThe Bag Shop has reopened after being destroyed in the 2016 fire in Regent Road. Picture: Jacob Massey

The blaze ripped through businesses and properties along Regent Road in August 2016, destroying the indoor market and Regent Bowl.

The Bag Shop was one of many to be reduced to ashes and a livelihood was lost.

Owner Alan Pitt said: “Everything was destroyed. The worst thing was, we’d been there for a few years and we were building the business up.

“We had just signed a lease and gone through replacing all the carpets and changing light fittings; for the first time we had spent a few quid on the place to make it into a proper shop. It was fully stocked so it was quite traumatic.

The 'B' from the original sign - the only remnant from the fire. Picture: Jacob MasseyThe 'B' from the original sign - the only remnant from the fire. Picture: Jacob Massey

“We didn’t have any insurance, nearly all of the traders didn’t. We never expected anything to happen and it was another bill on top of everything else. So we lost everything - all of the trade and all of the stock.”

Mr Pitt said: “Now the horses have bolted we’re definitely insured. It was a case of pretty much 90pc of Regent Road wasn’t insured the weekend before the fire and then the weekend after the fire everyone was insured.”

In the intervening period, Mr 
Pitt and wife Debbie struggled to secure new premises, at the same time selling bags on a stall two days a week.

But having acquired a new shop - in Regent Road the business is ready to rise from the ashes 
once again.

The Bag Shop has reopened after being destroyed in the 2016 fire in Regent Road. Picture: Jacob MasseyThe Bag Shop has reopened after being destroyed in the 2016 fire in Regent Road. Picture: Jacob Massey

Mr Pitt said: “We’ve used reclaimed wood and we’ve sanded it all down and burnt it surprisingly enough, not really as a homage, but it is part of the story of our shop.

“There was one thing left from the shop and that was the ‘B’ from the sign, so we’ve got that up on the wall as well.

“It’s part of our history and it feels good to be back.”

The shop, at 19a Regent Road, is open for business from 10am to 4pm every day..

• MORE: Regent Road, a year on from the fire

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