Britain’s oldest ship’s chandlery closes its doors for the last time

Image: Hugh Taylor
Image: Hugh Taylor

500-year-old nautical institution laid low by pandemic and high rents.

Publisert Sist oppdatert

By Marc Allen

Arthur Beale Ltd., ship’s chandlers for 500 years, will close its doors for the last time tomorrow. The iconic London shop has outfitted famous sailors and adventurers for 150 years from its Shaftesbury Avenue premises, but has been in business since around 1500.

Originally named John Buckinghams, the company started out as a rope maker and used locally grown flax to manufacture cordage for London’s thriving maritime trade. Later, as the city grew, it moved a short distance to its current location in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Co-owner Hugh Taylor said: “People are really mourning our closure. They are genuinely sad that it’s closing. A lot of people think it’s bizarre that there’s a yacht chandler in London but 500 years ago the Thames was pretty important from a nautical perspective and all the Everest explorers would come to the shop in London for their supplies,” he added.

Mr. Taylor added that although the shop has closed, the Arthur Beale Ltd. still has an online store and he does not rule out a return to London if suitable premises can be found.

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