Archway Reopens in Woodbridge
Over the years Archway Carpets has weathered credit crunches, recessions and competition from national brands. In 35 years the door at 7 Church Street in Woodbridge remained open (except on Sundays). However, as the coronavirus pandemic grew more serious father and son team, Graham and Darrell Smith, followed government advice and closed their carpet and flooring shop at the end of March.
So how did Darrell Smith cope at home during lockdown? With two older boys – who could largely look after themselves – and a wife at home too furloughed meant he had time on his hands, as well as a lockdown beard to grow.
With Archway Carpets supporting several local charities and with the Archway van empty of carpet and flooring materials, Darrell got to work helping them out. In April, Jane Billing of Billiebox, the secure storage container company, commandeered Darrell and his van to deliver food donations for FIND, Families in Need, who people in need here in Suffolk. Darrell also helped out Age UK Suffolk by shopping for the elderly who were shielding.
Homestart is another local charity dedicated to helping families. With opportunities to raise money for the charity at events now closed, focus turned to replicating this online. In May, Darrell was called on to lead an auction as part of a lockdown party online which raised nearly £1500. If this wasn’t enough, Darrell found time to volunteer for the NHS, helping out in the call centre at Ipswich hospital.
With the lockdown easing, Darrell now returns to his ‘day job’ selling carpets and flooring. The Archway Carpets door is back open for one-on-one appointments. Darrell tells us he’s very busy with enquiries from new and old customers adding “there’s been a lot of DIY over the last few months and people now need companies like ourselves to complete their projects.” Darrell adds “Our customers are very loyal and we’re very grateful for that.”