Seventy years on and Tong still going strong in Spilsby

One of the oldest businesses in Spilsby has been run by the same owner for 70 years.

Geoffrey Tong, of EJ Tong and Sons, has celebrated 70 years in business with a celebration event for staff past and present.

The hardware business in High Street was started by Geoffrey’s entrepreneurial father, Edmund Jackson Tong.

Geoffrey said: “When he came out of the First World War he struggled to find a job.

“He eventually went to work at a hardware business in Lincoln.

“He then started out on his own, visiting markets in Spilsby, Horncastle, Newark and Lincoln selling hardware to farmers.”

In 1930 he bought the Spilsby shop and employed a manager to run it.

By 1933, he had moved his family from Hundleby to Spilsby where they lived at the back of the shop.

Geoffrey said: “As a boy I helped in the shop and with deliveries.

“Back then, what we sold was very much centred on agriculture selling butter churns and milking machines

“At 15, I started working in the shop properly.

“We have always been a hardware business.

“We still service farmers but we have had to change with the times.

“We opened the cook shop eight years ago and it has been very successful.”

The shop did change location briefly in the late 1980s to Market Street but returned back to its current location at 1 High Street.

Geoffrey thanks his customers for their years of loyal service.

He said: “I have been lucky, I’ve had good health and a happy life.

“I have had very loyal customers who I know by Christian name. I’ve always been helped by good staff.”

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