With sources of epoxy knowledge based far and wide, epoxycraft profiles some of the most influential and long-standing. Sarah Sharp, owner and manager of Sharp and Enright in Dover, tells epoxycraft all about her family’s historic chandlery and general merchants.
My great, great grandfather took over the business as a sail makers in 1860. But by 1865, when he entered into partnership with John Enright, it had become a chandlery and general merchants. Today, 160 years and five generations of the family later, that’s still very much what Sharp and Enright is all about.
We used to have a shop in Commercial Quay, but that’s now buried under the A20 dual carriageway. The premises that we’re in today were bought by my great grandfather back in 1925 for £1,000. That was quite a lot back then. But of course it’s a sought-after location, right next to The Wellington Dock in Dover. It’s safe to say the area has changed quite a lot over the years. We can’t seem to escape the roads – the M20 now runs right past the door.
Sharp and Enright stocks thousands of lines of all sorts of chandlery, hardware and ironwork. We’ve been fans of WEST SYSTEM® products for as long as I can remember. I’ve worked here for 25 years and we’ve stocked it the whole time. We keep all the WEST SYSTEM fillers, resin, hardeners, syringes – everything that belongs to their core base. We also sell the pumps to go with the packs and we carry their repair kits, fibreglass tapes and matting. It’s a good product and I don’t think we’ve ever had any complaints about it. Really, once people see how good it is, it starts to sell itself.
Because the family business has been here for so many years, people regularly come to us for advice about boatbuilding and about WEST SYSTEM products in particular. I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge of all their products over the years, so I’m always happy to help. My dad was also very active in the business until about a year ago. He’s 76 now and has been stepping back a bit in the last few years, but we regularly ask him for his advice. You just can’t buy the depth of knowledge that he has.
While it’s fair to say that we do have a lot of regular boatbuilding customers, we’re happy to help anyone. We get all sorts of customers. I remember someone once asked me how to fix a crack in their bath. I knew WEST SYSTEM epoxy would do the job; they used some to reinforce underneath the front panel. That’s what’s great about working here; no two days are the same. You simply don’t know who’s going to walk through the door next.
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