JUDGING by the number of letters we’ve had in support, the future of ironmonger HL Owen in Solihull High Street seems to be assured.
All it needs now is for good intentions to be turned into people actually going to the shop. I know I’ll be there today, Friday, to buy a saw.
What I like about HL Owen is not only its air of an Aladdin’s Cave, but the knowledge of the staff.
I’ll give two examples: I needed a small adjustable spanner and two versions were on offer - a dirt cheap one made in China or a precision Spanish-made one for a few pounds more.
On their advice I bought the latter and have been rewarded by years of loyal, and precise, service.
On another occasion I needed a couple of log splitters and a sledge hammer. If I’d gone to one of the shed-like emporiums where little advice is on offer, I’d have ended up buying the heaviest sledge hammer I could have handled.
No, said Owens, go for the lightest - it will still split the wood, it will be easier to manage, it’s cheaper too and it won’t break your legs if you miss!
A great shop, great stock, but priceless advice.