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Maidenhead Bait and Tackle set to shut in Cookham Rise

A fishing shop owner has thanked villagers for their friendliness as he retires from his 22-year-old Cookham Rise business.

Michael Hutt, 79, will formally close Maidenhead Bait and Tackle, in Lower Road, on Saturday.

However, the store will be open for customers to buy goods from for the next few weeks as part of a clear out of stock.

Other supplies will be moved to a new store near Maidenhead by next month, owned and run by the shop’s current manager, John Prater, and his brother.

Michael, who lives in Cox Green, complained utility bills have got so high he felt the business could not continue.

He said: “I have made a living, but I’ve never made a profit.”

Before opening the shop he was in the refrigeration and air conditioning business, but switched to a job closer to his hobby of fishing.

He was first based in Furze Platt but identified Cookham Rise as the ideal location for his shop.

“Cookham has been very good for us,” Michael said. “A good, friendly place. The other reason we opened here was because of the car park.

“Fishermen are lazy,” he joked, saying it would make it easier for them to pull up, buy what they needed and go.

Customers loyal to Maidenhead Bait and Tackle drive in from Amersham and Benson.

Many would often come in on a Saturday morning to enjoy a cup of tea with the shop staff.

“It is a big social thing, fishing,” John said.

He will formally open his new shop, Maidenhead Angling Supplies, in mid-September. An exact date for its opening has not been set yet.

John, 28, will run the business, in Drift Road, with his brother, Lee, 39.

The shop manager said while stepping up from his current role to owner would be ‘a big leap’ and ‘a bit scary’, he ‘can’t wait for the challenge.”

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