CARLISLE residents have been reacting to the announcement that an iconic and much-loved sports shop in the city centre will close.

Chivers Sports shared the news on their Facebook page, posting: "It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to retire.

"The decision to close our business, formed in 1945, has not been an easy one as we have enjoyed developing relationships with our customers from not only Carlisle and Cumbria, but all over the UK. Chivers Sports would not have been a success without you. 

"We would also like to thank our special staff for all their hard work and loyalty."

The business has become a firm favourite with local residents who have grown up around the shop, with this being evident with the outpouring of messages following the shock announcement.

Alan Pitcher was one resident who reacted to the news, sharing his memories of the shop and how his family has grown up with it.

He said:" Chivers is one of our great institutions and it’s sad you’re closing down."

"I’ve only ever bought my running shoes from your shop. I bought all my son's tennis and rugby gear from you and only last year bought my grandson's football boots as well.

"Three generations of Pitchers."

Former employee Rebecca Barwick also reflected on what she described as the 'end of an era.'

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She said: "A little bit of Carlisle's history forever! Lots of memories from my time working there too. Good luck to you all for the future."

Paul Reay, another loyal customer, highlighted how the the staff at Chivers have helped make it such a local insitution.

He said: "Absolutely gutted about this! Chivers will be such a miss to the local community!

"The staff in the shop are what makes it such a special place... good luck to you all and thankyou."

Not only did Chivers sell sports gear, it was also a place to receive reliable sporting advice. This was the reflection of Nick Owen Gee.

He said: "The knowledge and service from Chivers helped me from struggling to do a 5km to doing my first 95-miler this year.

"They have always been so helpful and knowledgeable.

"Good luck for the future."

In their announcement, Chivers did reassure its customers that despite the ongoing retirement process, they will remain open and trading their 2023 stock, much to the relief of customers like Emily Woolfe.

She said: "What a shame for the city - the loss of a vital and invaluable resource.

"I'll have to make sure I head in for the long-overdue upgrade before you close."

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