Doors shut on shop

Tuesday, 16th May, 2017

Craig Lawrence flips through a magazine in his Oxide Street newsagency yesterday. After 25 years in business Mr Lawrence is about to close the final chapter on the shop which has long been a presence in the street.  PICTURE: Michael Murphy Craig Lawrence flips through a magazine in his Oxide Street newsagency yesterday. After 25 years in business Mr Lawrence is about to close the final chapter on the shop which has long been a presence in the street. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

When Craig Lawrence closes the doors of his Oxide Street newsagency at one o’clock this Sunday, it will be for the last time.

Craig and Sue took over the newsagency 25 years ago, even though many still call it Bottoms’ as it was formerly known.

Craig said lower turnover and higher costs finally “brought him to submission”, and he wasn’t looking forward to another winter of getting up at 4.20am every day.

“It will be a sad day, but the new digital age is upon us with papers and magazines offered online, eliminating us at the front line,” Craig said.

“The younger generation get so much of their news via social media.”

He said newspapers were doing it tough, pointing to the recent announcement of Fairfax to lay off journalists.

“It would seem the day of insightful journalism and editorial may be declining.

“(But) newspapers, I feel, have an advantage over most other media in that they don’t have the time constraints with adverts and programming, and can explain stories in full.”

During their time in the business, the Lawrences made many friends, and have seen babies grow into adults.

“We’ve had a lot of fun and laughter at the expense of ourselves and others, but unfortunately the time has come,” Craig said.

“We have had some wonderful customers, some of whom I have been able to leave in charge while attending a meeting or banking etcetera.

“I will miss the characters, the gossip that turns out rubbish, Mrs Jo’s puff pastries, and the banter about golf scores and footy teams.

“But mainly the mateship the shop has brought us.”