Final song is played as Sutton store closes its doors

Hardy Smith Music closing after 50 years, pictured is Rob Smith with his Son Mike
Hardy Smith Music closing after 50 years, pictured is Rob Smith with his Son Mike

A musical institution, which has spanned four generations of one family, is set to close later this year.

Hardy Smith Music has been open on Outram Street in Sutton for more than 50 years and has had a whole host of famous customers including Mansfield-born star Alvin Stardust, who was a regular.

Hardy Smith Music closing after 50 years, pictured is Rob Smith

Hardy Smith Music closing after 50 years, pictured is Rob Smith

However, the business has been running for much longer – with the shop originally opening in Mansfield in the 1930s.

The shop, which sells instruments and sheet music, is owned by Robert Smith, 65, who said overheads have become too costly and there has been a shift to buying instruments online rather than on the high street.

“Cuts to funding in schools mean less children are learning an instrument and the internet means people have stopped coming in as much.

“All people want to do now is sing and be famous rather than learn an instrument.”

He said: “It was a very difficult decision to make because it has been around for a long time.

“And while I am sentimental there must come a time when common sense must prevail.

“We have a strong base of regular customers, who have been fantastic and hopefully they’ll keep coming to us.

“I will be extremely sad when I turn the key for the last time.”

Set up by Robert’s grandfather James Hardy Smith, the business originally sold gramophone records and bicycles in Mansfield.

Robert said: “In those days it was seasonal, people would buy bikes in the summer and records in the winter.” There is a lot of history here.”

The family’s first shop was on Westgate in Mansfield before moving to the Handley Arcade, Clumber Street and Stockwell Gate.

Robert’s father relocated to Outram Street, Sutton in the 1950s after his premises were bought by a compulsory order so the Four Seasons Shopping Centre could be built.

He said: “There’s a lot of fond memories here, the 80’s were definitely a boom time for the trade - everyone wanted keyboards.”