One of the longest-running stores in Blackburn town centre will no longer have a town centre base for the first time in 74 years.

CW Carpets and Flooring is based in Darwen Street and was first established in 1950 by Raymond Counsell and Albert Woan.

It was later taken over by David Cottam, but since 2010 it has been run by Gary Mercer and located opposite Edmondson's Furniture.

The store sells ‘high-end’ floor coverings and has a bespoke service.

Gary, who is no relation to the founders, said he would be working from home instead as he could no longer afford to keep the store open in the town centre due to rising costs.

Lancashire Telegraph: The shop in Darwen Street is closingThe shop in Darwen Street is closing (Image: Nq)

He said: “It is just too expensive to run a business here.

“We have utility bills, rates and rent to pay and the parking is horrible.

“I have to say the landlord has been very helpful but for small businesses to have a location and a base in Blackburn town centre is just not viable.

“We are keeping the business open and still have a loyal base of customers. But people are just not heading to the town centre anymore. It is abysmal really.

“And when people do come in, where are they supposed to park?”

Lancashire Telegraph: Gary MercerGary Mercer (Image: Nq)

Gary said Darwen Street itself has changed over the years.

“You have loyal shoppers who will always come in," he went on, "but they are dying off and with bills going up it has become really difficult for small businesses.

“We will still be able to go out to people and offer the same service as we always did.

“We sell high-end carpets and flooring brands that people may not be able to get anywhere else.”

CW Carpets and Flooring will be known as Counsell & Woan Mobile Floorcoverings.

Lancashire Telegraph: Raymond Counsell and Albert Woan who established the business in 1950. From a framed photo with words by Kathleen Hinchcliffe daughter of Albert.

The business was established by Raymond Counsell and Albert Woan, in the mid-20th century, who both worked for Raymond's father, Stanley, until he retired.

Albert saw an opportunity to buy offcuts and ends of rolls from the manufacturers and began selling them around local markets.

Raymond asked to join him and in 1950 they opened their store in Railway Road named Counsell & Woan Floor Coverings Limited. 

The shop later moved to Darwen Street under the bridge and then to its last location around the corner from Weir Street.

Darwen Street still boasts the longest-established companies in Blackburn, including Ainsworth Jewellers, Hobkirk Sewing Machines and Edmondson's Furniture.

Gary said: “It is a sad day as the company has had a presence in the town centre for so many decades.”

You can find out more about Counsell & Woan Mobile Floorcoverings at its website.