BALAKLAVA Newsagency owners Peter and Sherry Barnfield will close their doors and begin their retirement at the end of this month after 26 years of serving their community.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time in Balaklava, but we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be around the town,” Sherry said.
Supplying both a newsagency and a home paper delivery to Balaklava and its wider community for that time, Peter and Sherry have loved being part of the Balaklava community.
Spending 60 years combined in the education department before buying the newsagency, it was in August 1994 when Peter and Sherry made the move from teaching in the South East to becoming newsagents in Balaklava.
“It was a personal decision for both of us, the education department was changing and we wanted our daughter, Ayesha, to be closer to her grandparents,” Peter said.
It was in the Advertiser where Peter first saw the Balaklava Newsagency for sale and after making enquiries, the pair bought it the next day.
“We were ready for a change and once we made a decision to go for it, we bought it,” Peter said.
Moving to Balaklava was easy for the pair; Sherry had grown up on her family farm near Upper Wakefield, so knew the area well.
The newsagency was originally across the street from where it is currently (in the Shearing Shed hairdresser premises) for six years before moving to its current location.
“We bought these premises when the space came up for sale. Just like buying the newsagency, it only took us a tenth of a second to buy the new premises,” Peter said.
With the help of Balaklava locals, Peter and Sherry moved their entire shop across the road on one Saturday afternoon.
“We borrowed all of the Foodland shopping trolleys and had everyone walking stock over the road to our new shop,” Sherry said.
Besides running the newsagency Peter and Sherry also threw out newspapers every morning to homes around Balaklava.
Starting at 5am most days, the pair has seen their fair share of beautiful sunrises.
“We’ve had lots of great early morning talks with locals while out walking, sometimes people would even bring out a thermos of coffee and we’d pull over and have a chat. One morning we were lucky enough to get breakfast on the sidewalk courtesy of the Chegwyns,” Sherry said.
“Often we would be called the town alarm clock because we would be driving past at the same time every morning,” Peter joked.
One morning, as they were getting ready to leave to throw the papers, their reliable old Suzuki Vitara wouldn’t start so the pair enlisted the help of Cheggy (Peter Chegwyn) and his ute.
Sherry sat in the passenger seat navigating as Cheggy weaved around Balaklava in the early hours of the morning.
But where was Peter?
Like a king on a throne, Peter was sitting on an old sofa tied to the ute tray flinging papers left and right.
Over the years, Peter and Sherry employed 12 locals to help out in the shopfront and for 10 of those years, Louise Sanders has been working there.
But in June when the shop closes, Louise will also be moving on, heading to the Eyre Peninsula to live with her partner (former local) Simon Gill.
“I’ll miss all of the wonderful customers who have come in throughout the years especially all of the regulars,” Louise said.
While the storefront will close on June 30, the pair will throw their last round of papers on July 19 bringing their paper route to a close.
“We were both ready to retire, after having my hip replaced I soon realised the limit of things you can do, so we thought now was the best time, so we can get out and do things we’ve always wanted to do,” Peter said.
“We’ve got lots of fish to catch, plenty of miles to travel and quite a bit of sleep to catch up on,” Sherry joked.
“We’d both like to thank the community and our loyal customers for the past 26 years. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time servicing Balaklava and the wider communities and all the friendships we’ve made throughout those years,” Peter and Sherry said.