AS the pages turn in the final chapter of one of Omagh’s most treasured book shops, the owners have paid tribute to the loyal customers and staff who have played their own roles in their remarkable story.
Next month, the doors of the Carlisle Book Shop in the heart of the town centre will close for the final time.
The store has enjoyed a long and successful history on 25 High Street, catering for local bookworms, ardent historians, stationery fanatics and even the most reserved greetings card buyer for more than half a century.
Its friendly atmosphere and popular staff members will surely leave a lasting legacy, and at Christmas time ‘The Carlisle’ will fondly be remembered for being the place where people of all ages bumped into each other and caught up after years of being apart.
Current staff members include proprietors, Rene Stewart and Alison Humphreys (née Stewart), full time staff, Stephanie Simmonds and Louise McLaughlin, and part-time staff, Pauline Maguire, Michelle McNulty, Laura Patton, Ruth King and Jocelyn Irwin.
Alison and her parents took over the much-loved store just two days short of 21 years ago. But the decision to close was taken in light of Rene’s retirement and Alison’s recovery from breast cancer.
“The time has come when mum wants to retire and enjoy some time to herself, and so we made the decision as a family to close,” Alison described. “It will be a big change for everyone as the shop has played a significant role in the lives of many of us, but we feel it is the right thing to do.
“And I believe that when one door closes, another one opens.”
Alison, from Mountjoy, grew up with the bookstore long before she worked there and the decades have just flown by. But for her, it was the people from the past and present that made the Carlisle Book Shop special.
“I wish to express my sincerest thanks to the customers who have supported us over the years – we appreciate the support that we’ve had very much,” she said. “I also wish to thank the staff for their dedication, commitment and co-operation and for being there through all the highs and lows of life.”
Closing down sale
To thank the customers for their support, the shop is now holding a major sale which sees a third off general stationery, including pencils, pens and file pads; tableware and front-of-shop displays.
There is also a third off Parker, Sheaffer and Waterman pens and refills; photo albums; gift bags, gift wrap and bows.
Additionally, there is a third off books, excluding locally-produced books.There’s ten per-cent off educational books, and all greetings cards are half price.
All customers who have Gift Vouchers, Book Tokens or Credit Notes are reminded to redeem them all before June 30.
• The Carlisle Book Shop will close its doors for the final time
on June 30, at 5.30pm.