Heritage status for sweet shop

Brenda Shewan (Mayoress of Wyre), Margaret Daniels (Fleetwood Civic Society chairman), Elizabeth Anderson (formerly of Rimmer's shop) and Coun Ron Shewan (Mayor of Wyre).
Brenda Shewan (Mayoress of Wyre), Margaret Daniels (Fleetwood Civic Society chairman), Elizabeth Anderson (formerly of Rimmer's shop) and Coun Ron Shewan (Mayor of Wyre).

A former sweet shop in Fleetwood which attained local legendary status has been given a special blue heritage plaque.

Generations of folk in the town grew up enjoying the parched peas and homemade Vimto lollies that were a speciality at Rimmer’s sweet shop on Blakiston Street.

The little shop, which hardly changed for more than 70 years, also became an internet sensation in more recent times, with Facebook users waxing lyrical about its wares.

But sadly, the business closed in January following the death of owner Harry Anderson (inset) at the age of 73.

Harry had run the shop for 50 years, ever since taking over as a 23 year old in 1965, but his widow Elizabeth couldn’t face running it without him and put it up for sale.

Now Fleetwood Civic Society has placed a plaque there in recognition of the shop’s long history and the affection felt for it in the town.

The plaque, which includes the line “Home of the original Rimmer’s”, was unveiled by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wyre, Coun Ron Shewan and wife Brenda.

Margaret Daniels, chairman of Fleetwood Civic Society, said: “We thought it would be good to have something to mark the shop’s long history, especially as Mr Anderson sadly passed away recently. So many people have fond memories of the parched peas and Vimto lollies and the shop itself, that we thought we’d keep those memories alive.”

The shop was called Rimmer’s because of the couple who ran it before Harry, Geoff and Alice Rimmer.

Harry decided to keep the name going for many years because that’s how everyone knew it.

Coun Shewan, 77, said: “I used to come to this shop when I was child.

“I lived on Ariel Way and used to walk all the way to Milton Street School.

“If I had a spare threepence or a ha’penny, I’d get some sweets.

“You could get a bottle of pop for a penny, it was a great shop.”

Elizabeth Anderson, Harry’s second wife who ran the shop with him for 17 years, said: “We’d get expats from New Zealand and America taking photos outside the shop. Harry was even known as Mr Rimmer, even though he wasn’t!

“Harry had taken a back seat in recent times, his health wasn’t so good, but when he died I just couldn’t go on.

“He would have loved the plaque, he would have had a tear in his eye, Harry was an emotional person.”