Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Keswick family business wins best independent shop award

A family business from Keswick has been named ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’ in the Great Outdoors Awards 2012.

Rathbones award photo
From left, Paul Rathbone and Nicky Rathbone and Luca Morlacchi, chief executive of OutDry Technologies, which sponsored the award

Rathbones has been supplying outdoor gear to walkers and climbers for 48 years.

It has two shops in the town, in Main Street and Market Street.

Fourteen independent outdoor retailers across the UK were shortlisted by the award organisers, the monthly walkers’ magazine TGO The Great Outdoors.

Readers were invited to cast their vote for the most deserving winner.

Joint owner Paul Rathbone said: “For any family business to win a national award is simply incredible.

“All of the talented and knowledgeable people who work in our shops, and our entire family, are thrilled with this recognition. Huge thanks to all of our customers who voted based on their experiences of shopping with us.”

Two other Keswick retailers – George Fisher and Needle Sports – also made the shortlist.

Mr Rathbone added: “This is great for the town because it demonstrates that Keswick is the best location in the UK to shop for outdoor clothing and equipment.”

The accolade comes within a few weeks of the 80th birthday of the business’ founder, Tony Rathbone, who started retailing in Keswick with his wife Jean in 1964.

The shops today are run by their two eldest sons, Paul and Neil.

The Great Outdoors Awards are in their first year. The 12 categories recognise brands and service providers that make hill walkers’ time on the mountains safe, fun and comfortable.

There were two other Cumbrian winners.

Wasdale Head National Trust campsite was ‘accommodation provider of the year’ while the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Great Langdale was ‘pub or restaurant of the year’.

Other winners included Bear Grylls, the TV personality and chief of Scouts, who was named ‘outdoor personality of the year’. The Backpacker’s Handbook by Chris Townsend was ‘outdoor book of the year’.

The awards clearly struck a chord with TGO The Great Outdoors’ readers, with 18,000 voting.

The winners received their awards at a ceremony in Kendal.


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