A CARPET shop owner from Powys who celebrated her 80th birthday this week says she has no plans to roll up and retire anytime soon.

Anne James has been in charge at Anvic Carpets, a Newbridge-on-Wye institution, for 42 years, and turned 80 on Monday (May 13).

Anne is the ‘An’ in Anvic, but her husband Vic - whose name completed the name of the shop - died suddenly, aged 53, 25 years ago.

Daughter Mair stepped in to the void on a temporary basis when her dad died, when she was just 18, and has stayed put for a quarter of a century.

“She turned 80 on Monday and is still working,” Mair said of her mum.

“The family business started in 1982 and she has been here the whole time. I work with her, having popped in to help out temporarily 25 years ago when dad died.”

Despite the heartache of losing Vic at such a young age, the work of the shop, and being entrenched in such a tight-knit community like Newbridge, are two of the vital things that have kept Anne and the business going.

“Work keeps me occupied, there is a social aspect to it,” said Anne.
“There's no healthy living and fitness classes I'm afraid, but being active at work keeps me going.

“We're now 42 years in business, which definitely makes me feel proud, especially as we have continued to not only stay open after Vic died, but to thrive too. Time has flown by.”

County Times:  Anne James celebrated her 80th birthday this week. Credit Anvic Carpets Anne James celebrated her 80th birthday this week. Credit Anvic Carpets (Image: Anvic Carpets)

Asked about the highlights over 42 years, Anne said there were “too many to mention”, but one of the best things has definitely been existing as a small shop in a small, rural community.

“Being here in the community, seeing generations of the same families walk through the door over the years,” said Anne, reflecting.

“It’s a small shop, with small overheads. It's definitely not fancy but it enables us to keep prices fair for customers.”


And, rather than celebrate the milestone of reaching 80 by rolling out the red carpet for retirement, Anne insists she won’t be having the rug pulled from underneath her.

“No, I’m not retiring. We (Mair and I) make a good team – no-one else would put up with me.”

Even though Mair, 43, admits she never intended to join the family business, she now feels a part of the furniture – although she insists she probably won’t work until she’s 80.

“I never wanted to join the family business but dad died very suddenly age 53, I was just 18,” said Mair.

“I popped in to help temporarily and it turns out, I really enjoy it. Design and colours are my thing and luckily that fits well with the family business.

“I might retire before my 80th though.”

For more information or for a quote, contact Anvic Carpets on 01597 860444, email anviccarpets@hotmail.co.uk, visit the anviccarpets.co.uk website or the Facebook page.