For the last few years Cromer’s former Town Hall, a majestic Queen Anne-styled building dating back to 1890, has been empty.
But now, the building — on Prince of Wales Road — is the home of Harbord’s Artisan Vintage Emporium (HAVE), a new retail venture that has been established by a local couple, Thom and Sarah Harbord, who share a passion for all things vintage.
Sarah met Thom at Sheringham’s annual 1940s weekend in 2014 and three years later they married at St Peter’s Church in Sheringham, during the 1940s weekend, both dressed in authentic period attire.
The emporium occupies both floors of the imposing property, where customers can browse an eclectic range of vintage, retro, antique, twentieth century, reclaimed and recycled furniture, clothing, memorabilia and accessories.
On the large ground floor customers are invited to explore settees, tables and chairs, occasional furniture, storage chests and cupboards. Whereas most retailers need shelving and racking to display the products, at HAVE the furniture doubles-up as an ingenious platform to merchandise the vast array and variety of products, with the wardrobes used to display authentic replica military uniforms and vintage clothing from across the decades.
Sarah has been collecting vintage and collectable furniture, accessories and clothing for over 30 years, and over the years Thom has collected an enviable range of replica military uniforms, mainly US Army.
The inspiration for the emporium was a result of their love of all things vintage, but the catalyst for HAVE was their move from Sheringham to Cromer in the summer of 2019, when they realised just how much furniture, vintage clothing, memorabilia and accessories they had accumulated.
They had also tried their hand selling vintage clothing and accessories earlier in the year when they took a stall at a pop-up vintage market.
During the recent lockdown Sarah and Thom’s ideas crystallised and they started an online seach for suitable premises; as restrictions started relaxing they were able to view a number of properties, including the Old Town Hall.
From their first viewing they knew it would be the ideal property, offering 2,000 sq ft over two floors, with the additional benefit of off-street customer parking and ideally located on one of Cromer’s busiest thoroughfares.
Whilst the high street is struggling in the face of online retailers and out-of-town retail parks, Sarah and Thom are confident that their products, most of which are not easily available online, will bring in customers from across the region who are looking for a real alternative to sanitised retail outlets and who want to explore a wide range of eclectic, authentic and collectable products.
Opera PR & Communications
M: 07976 826004
T: 0333 355 3600
E: [email protected]
DOWNLOADABLE IMAGES (right-click or CTRL-click to download)