Martin Read – Business Reporter
The district’s sporting community is sorry to learn that Horsham’s very longstanding and well respected business, Bedford’s Sports will be closing at the end of November, leaving partner Fran Bedford and Manager David Grimes with many fond memories. The Lambs Farm Road shop was established in 1980 by Pete as The Sussex Darts & Trophy Centre, and later developed in to a full blown sports retailer changing name to Bedford’s Sports. The shop transferred to Fran’s control a few years later, priding itself in quality service and great prices, supplying a comprehensive selection of equipment and clothing brands for a wide range of sports, including darts and snooker, whilst also specialising in engraved trophies, medals and awards. Horsham’s only traditional sports shop has provided kit for many clubs and individuals down the years, as far afield as Eastbourne, Chichester, Brighton and even for Le Mans Racing where the famous Stirling Moss once held aloft a Bedford’s Sports cup, Fran telling the District Post “We’ve really enjoyed being closely involved in the local sporting scene and Bedford’s Sports is still a good, buoyant business, so of course it is a shame that it will be going and we are naturally disappointed, but unfortunately there is nobody in the family wanting to take it on.” Fran, who has been running the shop with David for over 20 years, wants to take well earned retirement. She went on to say: “The pattern of shopping is changing and it is sad that independent family businesses providing a bespoke service – of which there used to be a good number in Horsham – are ceasing. We take this opportunity to thank everyone who has traded with and supported Bedford’s Sports over the last 40 years, it’s been a very satisfying labour of love for us. Trophy orders either yet to be placed or already in the pipeline, will be completed in the usual efficient Bedford’s Sports manner with our large shop display still available to help with your selections”.
Meanwhile, club clothing sales have been transferred to Appliedfx where Toni Jeal (Pete’s daughter and formerly with Roffey Robins F.C.) is dealing with all team sport sales – catch her on 01403 280851 or look at the ranges available at www.appliedfx.co.uk. The embroidered clothing and print factory in Blatchford Road goes on with a much larger display, including the new ranges in sublimated clothing, in amazing colours with team generic designs available – a must for clubs wishing to get away from the constant changes and price increases by designer brands. These new ranges include all sponsors, team badges, names and numbers as part of the design, and there are no washing or transfers problems to bother with. Appliedfx has six of the latest computer controlled embroidery machines for clothing and caps and is still more than happy to support the customer who needs small heat printed or larger screen printed orders – if unsure give Toni a call.
Until the shop closes there will be even more bargains to be had and Fran and David look forward to welcoming loyal existing customers and new shoppers, too. With many great clearance bargains, all shop stock must go, so grab a deal while you can!