Morgan Westley owners to switch on Portishead’s Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 13:00 04 November 2018

Matt and Rosemary Westley, owners of Morgan Westley in High Street, Portishead, are retiring and the shop will close unless a buyer is found.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Matt and Rosemary Westley, owners of Morgan Westley in High Street, Portishead, are retiring and the shop will close unless a buyer is found. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

The couple behind a soon-to-close Portishead shop will illuminate the town’s Christmas lights next month after the team orchestrating the display was inundated with calls for them to be given the honour.

Portishead High Street's Christmas lights switch on.Portishead High Street's Christmas lights switch on.

Matt and Rosemary Westley announced last week they will retire and close High Street stationery store Morgan Westley in February after more than 30 years in business, and 
to celebrate the pair’s efforts for the town they have been bestowed with the honour of pressing the button by the Christmas lights team.

Portishead ‘holds them in high regard’, with the couple doing much for the town over the years, including becoming a prominent ticket seller for community events.

Upon learning of Matt and Rosemary’s decision to retire in the Times last week, dozens of people took to social media to call for their involvement in the ceremony.

A spokesman for the Christmas lights team told the Times ‘Morgan Westley has been so much more than a stationery shop over the years’.

Portishead High Street's Christmas lights switch on.Portishead High Street's Christmas lights switch on.

They added: “It has supported a vast number of community organisations and has become the local box office for events in the town.

“The Portishead community holds them in high regard and this is reflected by the number of private messages and public Facebook requests we have received asking us to invite the couple to turn on the Christmas lights this year.

“It was our pleasure to put this to Matt and Rosemary and they have accepted.”

The lights will be switched on opposite the Precinct on November 25 at 6.15pm, with BBC weather presenter Jemma Cooper also involved in the proceedings – which are certain to draw a big crowd to the town centre.

Speaking to the Times last week, Matt said he will be ‘very sad’ when the shop – which opened in 1985 – closes, but admitted he is ‘proud’ it has become important to the people of Portishead.

He added: “We’ve become a one-stop shop for tickets, and we like doing it for the town.

“We have known many of our customers since they were children.

“The hardest part will be saying goodbye.

“We are going to miss everyone.”

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