Last of St Albans’ independent hardware stores to close

PUBLISHED: 19:09 30 October 2014

Dave Bhalla outside his store which is closing down after 75 years at this location

Dave Bhalla outside his store which is closing down after 75 years at this location


A long-standing hardware shop one local described as an “Aladdin’s cave” is to close after 60 years.

Dearman Gomms in Camp Road is shutting at the end of November as profits have started to dwindle.

Only three people currently work at the store, which sells DIY and home improvement products.

Owner Dave Bhalla, who will now go into retirement, said: “We bought the shop 15 year ago, but the shop has been in St Albans since 1880 onwards.

“It was a big institution in the town centre.

“Everybody knows us, we have a very loyal customer base.”

Many residents have expressed their sadness on social media websites since hearing that the shop was going to close.

One user said: “It was the only DIY shop in the area that you could buy nuts, bolts, screws and nails in the number you wanted, so if you needed three screws of a certain type you got three screws and not a pack of 20 as with Homebase.”

Another said: “I lived in Camp Road for a few years and found Dearman’s to be a very useful ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ and the staff were always willing to help a novice DIYer like me.”

The shop is currently having a closing down sale. For information visit

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