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23 February 2018

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Another Portswood independent to close PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 July 2017
Fagans shoe repair shop Portswood SouthamptonPortswood’s shoe repair shop, Fagan’s, is to close after 32 years trading under that name.

The premises are thought to have been used for a shoe repair business since 1950, but Fagan's is now due to shut at the end of July.

Kevin Fagan, Fagans shoe repair shop Portswood Southampton

“Portswood’s gone so quiet... Shoe repairs have gone down – you just can’t make it pay,” owner Kevin Fagan told portswood.info.

He said that the shoe repair trade “has gone down over the years for everyone, because [people] buy cheap shoes. They buy them on the internet and they don’t have them repaired.”

Kevin remembers a time when Portswood was packed with smaller independent shops like his.

“You used to have all the little shops: your fish shops and your bakeries, but you’ve got none of that up here now. It’s food mainly because of the students… if you’ve got a takeaway or a restaurant or any sort of food shop, you’re all right, because everyone’s got to eat, haven’t they.”

Kevin Fagan, Fagans shoe repair shop Portswood Soutahmpton

He said he thought the shop would also become a food outlet – in fact the council will shortly consider a change of use application from retail to hot food/takeaway - but that closing didn’t bother him: “I’ve been here long enough,” he said.

Before the shop became Fagans it’s thought to have traded under the name of Coombs Malones [?], before becoming a Mr Minit shoe repair shop.

Fagans shoe repair shop, Portswood Southampton

Kevin said even about 20 years ago there were about five people working there – three doing shoes, and a couple of assistants.

“But it’s like TVs and stuff: [shoes] don’t get repaired do they? [Like] washing machines – throw it way and then get a new one, don’t they? That’s the trouble.”

It looks like Fagans will certainly be missed in some quarters according to its Google reviews page: “Went here to get a replacement battery for my watch...excellent service, very friendly and welcoming. And the fella that replaced the battery, clearly knows his watches. If I ever need my watch repaired, I'm definitely coming here!” wrote Ovais Ahmed, while Chris Adderley simply said: “Great service. :-)”

Previously - Portswood People: Kevin Fagan & Rosina Davies

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