7:30 AM August 6, 2022
It is the end of an era at Wroxham Barns as one of its oldest tenants has announced he will be leaving in 2023.
Tim Foord, 72, has run Coastal Stained Glass at the family attraction for the last 28 years, based in its courtyard of shops.
He makes everything himself along with apprentice Sally and sells stained glass giftware, such as mirrors, candle pots and clocks.
He also does commissions and runs an evening class, with some students part of it for a decade.
With a heavy heart he has decided to retire and the shop will close in January 2023 after the busy Christmas period.
Mr Foord, who lives in nearby Horning, said: “It is much harder now to make a living as a crafts person if you make what you sell – unless you are a workaholic.
“You can’t compete on price with mass producers, but my niche has always been by selling unusual things that are a one-off.
“I am going to retire and spend time at the allotment with my dog Max and I also breed budgies.”
Before taking on the business from its previous owner Mr Foord was a keen fish breeder and got into glass when he made a fish tank as he needed one a particular size.
He said that Wroxham Barns is “unrecognisable” from when he moved in after major investment in recent years, including its fun park and 10-acre Field of Fun.
Mr Foord added: “After all this time I have a huge customer base.
“The interactions I have with them are lovely and I will really miss them.
“I will still do stained glass in my spare time and take some commissions.
“But if someone wants to take Coastal Stained Glass on then pop in and see me.”
Ben Marshall, the manager of Wroxham Barns, said: “Tim has been an integral part of the fabric of Wroxham Barns for almost 30 years.
“He was one of our original makers and creators, we are going to miss Tim immensely and thank him for all he has done over the years.”