"We get a lot of customers from the USA, Canada and New Zealand who are massive Last of the Summer Wine fans. Many of them connect with us on Facebook before even setting off for the UK."
A tea rooms occupying a property that played a leading role in the long-running BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine has been placed on the market by its owners Dennis and Jackie Fussell. Blacks Business Brokers, the national business transfer specialist with an office in Leeds, is marketing The Wrinkled Stocking in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire with an asking price of £59,950 to take over the lease plus annual rent of £7,735.
The Wrinkled Stocking Tea Rooms, which is located on Huddersfield Road and named after the notoriously ill-fitting hosiery sported by Kathy Staff in her on-screen role as the formidable Nora Batty, has been in business for 38 years. The current owners, Mr and Mrs Fussell, took over in 2015, having spent the previous seven years running a bar in Tenerife.
The couple have, since taking over, modernised the café and expanded the business into private events and catering as well as introducing full afternoon teas. They now wish to sell the business to realise their investment and enable Mr Fussell, a professional drummer, to concentrate on his parallel career as a musician.
The Wrinkled Stocking, which will remain open as usual until a new owner is found, is fully equipped and is being sold complete with all fixtures and fittings including display units, fridges and a modern catering kitchen. The tea rooms can seat up to 34 customers and, in its most recent financial year, turned over £95,000.
The business, which is currently open six days per week, is run by its owners on weekdays with additional support from part-time staff during the busiest summer months and at weekends. It is open from 9.00am to 4.00pm every day except Wednesdays.
The Wrinkled Stocking occupies the ground and first floors of the property used as the exterior of Compo’s house in Last of the Summer Wine. Actor Bill Owen’s legendarily scruffy character was regularly filmed hanging out of the first-floor window while proclaiming his undying affection for the long-suffering Nora Batty, whose house was located next-door.
The basement of the building houses the Last of the Summer Wine Museum. This business, which is not connected to The Wrinkled Stocking, attracts tourists from around the world, many of whom follow their visit with refreshments at the tea rooms.
Mr Fussell said, “Holmfirth certainly has more to offer than Last of the Summer Wine but it still attracts masses of tourists who want to see the old stomping ground of their favourite characters. Our rear entrance is accessed via the famous ‘Nora Batty steps’, off which she would regularly chase Compo, Clegg and Foggy with a broom, so we are right at the heart of that experience.
“We get a lot of customers from the USA, Canada and New Zealand who are massive Last of the Summer Wine fans. Many of them connect with us on Facebook before even setting off for the UK, and they know every scene from every series.”
The large amount of business generated by tour groups who arrive en-masse means, according to Mr Fussell, the business would be best suited to a new owner “with a bit of drive and go”.
“It’s making great money but you have to be prepared to work hard,” he continued.
He also suggested the ambience of the tea rooms would lend itself well to opening as a bistro in the evenings, catering both to locals and the patrons of the town’s many hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Amy Page, account manager at Blacks Business Brokers, said, “The Wrinkled Stocking has an in-built unique selling point for many of its customers but Mr and Mrs Fussell haven’t just sat back and traded on that. They have maintained the décor and fittings to a really high standard, pushed into new marketplaces, and established a solid presence on social media.
“There is, however, still huge scope for a new owner to come in and build on what they have achieved, marketing the business more actively online and potentially opening in the evenings. This is a great opportunity for a driven, entrepreneurial individual to take over a fabulously well-located business with a great reputation and raise it to new heights.”
All enquiries should be directed to Blacks Business Brokers on 0333 370 0000, quoting reference 6503.