Ode to ‘Bristol tools’

Bristol tools was a shop on Gloucester Road that was established in 1973. I bought a centre punch there when I was 11. Over the years I did a fair amount of shopping there, they specialised in hand tools.

But on August 31st 2002 (my record keeping is somewhat anal) I went in carrying a piece of brake cable. I asked specially for ‘something that would cut this’. I was handed a pair of snips, I then proceeded to cut the cable with them. The man grabbed them off me and said, ‘Sold!’, ‘I can’t sell them as new now can I’. I didn’t point out at the time that if I’d specially asked for a product to serve a certain purpose and it failed to perform that duty then I could get a refund anyway. I paid and left and vowed never to return. I didn’t.

I noticed when walking past recently that the shop went from a double unit to a single one and that it started to sell a large range of ‘tat’ including old vinyl records. A couple of weeks ago in passing I saw that it had vanished completely and all that was remaining was a mural painted on the wall.

I should feel perhaps a little sad that this almost 50 year old shop has now ceased trading, but then I wonder how many customers failed to come back due to poor customer service. It only attracted four Google reviews. Shed a tear? No, sorry you pissed me off. I still have the snips. It won’t be long before the mural vanishes and you will just be a blot in history.

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