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  1. ITV Report

Ironmongers, hardware shop and museum, in one building.

Cockermouth is originally a medieval market town and a place that's had to adapt to disaster and change - the main street has been devastated by flooding several times in its history.

Many of the retailers there are family run businesses that have been open for many years. Banks the ironmongers in Cockermouth opened in 1836 and although it's had one or two changes in management, three generations of the same family have been in charge since the early 1900s.

Vanessa Graham is the third generation of the family that's been running J B Banks for over a hundred years.

It's more than just a shop as Kim Inglis explains:

"Businesses have to evolve - my grandfather would be horrified that I am selling trains in tins, necklaces and wicker baskets...he would be horrified, he'd want me to keep on selling the great buttons - which we still do.

All our usual customers just know it as Banks's ironmongers and it's just our usual shop. Visitors for the first time are just amazed at the eclectic mix and the historic aspect of the shop and how cool it is in summer and warm in winter with all the wood. It's just lovely."

– Vanessa Graham, J B Banks & Son
Flooding in Cockermouth, 1938 Credit: ITV

Vera Lowrey is a retired Pharmacist. She ran Allisons Chemist for 35 years and believes Cockermouth is very resilient:

"Cockermouth will survive, we've survived floods, we've survived this street now, we will survive, we're very resilient and determined because we want it to be a vibrant beautiful place to live."

– Vera Lowrey, retired Pharmacist

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