Legendary York shop – said to be the oldest in Britain – to close after 267 years
A legendary York shop, said to be the oldest retailer in Britain, is to close.
Banks Musicroom on Lendal is to shut on 17 March. Its owner the Hal Leonard Group is closing six out of seven Musicroom outlets, saving only the one in London.
“The company will increase its focus on continuing the successful growth of its Musicroom.com e-commerce channel,” it said in a statement.
“As part of this restructure, Musicroom retail store locations in Edinburgh, Exeter, Lincoln, Salisbury, Stratford and York will be closed.”
Tom Venvell, the UK managing direct, said: “Musicroom retail stores have contributed significantly to our consumer business and wider UK music-making communities over many years, and our decision to restructure in this way has been very difficult.
“However, with sales and profitability impacted by challenging market conditions, and costs continuing to rise, we need to make these changes.
“Our focus now is on supporting affected teams and serving our customers through this period. We look forward to working with partners and suppliers as we grow Musicroom in new ways, and ensure our products continue to be part of every music-making journey.”
A message in the window of Banks Musicroom in York said today: “On Monday 20 February we received the sad news that our store will cease trading to the public on 17th March due to market conditions.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued custom and loyalty to our store despite the exceptional challenges of the past three years.”
York Explore Libraries & Archive says this about Banks:
Banks’ Music Room is thought to be the United Kingdom’s oldest retailer, and was opened by Thomas Haxby on 15 June 1756 in Blake Street, York.
Haxby built up an impressive retail business, and at the same time developed a business manufacturing and repairing instruments.
In 1788, Haxby sold the retail business to Samuel Knapton, a hairdresser and cellist, and the business moved to alternative premises in Blake Street opposite York’s Assembly Rooms.
The business later passed to his son Philip, and in 1803 moved to premises in Coney Street.
The Knapton family took the business into the realms of music publishing, and in 1829, the business was transferred to William Hardman. After Hardman’s death in 1855, Henry Banks, who had been his assistant for the previous 15 years, took over the business. It is from this point that the current name originates.
In 1855 Banks moved the business to 2 Stonegate, before moving it again in 1904 to 58 Stonegate, a property looking directly onto St Helen’s Square. The shop was to remain on this site until 1985, with the business passing through various generations of the Banks family.
In 1985 the business relocated to 18 Lendal where it traded ever since.
Not to mention all the money people who buy all the properties local people can’t afford!
Be a bit tricky to buy a trombone or guitar online! Not been ‘Banks’ since it left the Banks family and Stonegate. 😢