New shop bids to bring 'zest for life' for couple

Mayor of Wisbech attends opening of Past Times shop

Cllr Andrew Lynn (right), mayor of Wisbech, attended the opening of the Past Times shop in town. - Credit: Past Times

The husband of a woman who battled mental health issues believes the opening of their new knitting and antiques shop has given her “a zest for life”. 

Linda and Karl Brittin opened their new shop, Past Times, on the Pond World Retail Park off Lynn Road, Wisbech on Saturday, December 4. 

It is an idea the couple have been contemplating for “two to three years”, but when the opportunity to fill an empty shop unit arose, they grasped it. 

“Several years ago, Linda had a breakdown and we tried to find something that was a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” said Karl. 

Mayor of Wisbech attends opening of Past Times shop

The mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times, which specialises in crafts as well as antiques and collectables. - Credit: Past Times

“I started encouraging her to do crafts as she does crochet and knitting.  

“We tried craft fairs but usually there were too many of us selling the same thing and got tricky.” 

As well as handcrafted crochet gifts and antiques including World War One memorabilia, Linda is offering tuition classes for those wanting to try a new skill. 

Mayor of Wisbech attends opening of Past Times shop

The mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times, which specialises in crafts as well as antiques and collectables. - Credit: Past Times

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There is also space for people who may not be able to afford or risk running a shop due to financial constraints to sell their own items, too. 

“We’re encouraging people who perhaps do not have the financial backing to bring their products to the shop,” Karl said.  

“By doing this, I think it brings more diversity and community into the shop. 

“It’s all forming a community and I think moving to the shop has helped that grow.” 

Mayor of Wisbech attended opening of Past Times shop

The mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times, which specialises in crafts as well as antiques and collectables. - Credit: Past Times

Mayor of Wisbech attended the launch of Past Times on Lynn Road

The mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times, which specialises in crafts as well as antiques and collectables. - Credit: Past Times

Cllr Andrew Lynn, mayor of Wisbech, paid a visit to Past Times named that way to link hobbies with items relating to the past. 

The shop is already growing into a community hub, Karl thinks, something which he said the mayor was pleased with. 

“The mayor liked what he saw and the community side that we’re promoting,” Karl said.  

“It will take time, and we will carry on doing what we do.” 

Mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times on Lynn Road

The mayor of Wisbech attended the opening of Past Times, which specialises in crafts as well as antiques and collectables. - Credit: Past Times

Linda and Karl currently have a three-month lease on the shop, with a view to extending this on a monthly basis. 

Since moving to Wisbech 21 years ago, the couple are hoping to not just prosper in business, but provide happiness to residents. 

“The shop has given Linda a zest for life," added Karl.

“We’re just trying to see if it will work; this seemed the right time and place and I have a good feeling about it.” 

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