A shop owner who was forced to move his business after the his roof was damaged by callous thieves is celebrating the return of the Fylde coast’s only specialist doll house shop.
Darren Thickett, 41, was devastated when thieves tore through the roof of his Dolls Houses Are Us shop in a crime that netted them just £5 of lead.
Rainwater poured through the ceiling, damaging the shop beyond repair at the start of the year.
Now Mr Thickett is opening his doors on his new shop on Waterloo Road.
He said: “Words cannot describe how I feel. Thank you isn’t enough for all the people who helped me.
“I nearly lost the business. I was minutes away from closing down altogether because of what happened.
“It was just heartbreaking. Seven years of business were ruined over just £5 of lead.
“I’d have been happy to just give them the £5 if they had asked. I’d have given them £10 if it meant I could have avoided all this.
“It cost me £150 just to change the phone line. I’ve lost around £6,000.”
The father of two, who lives in Marton, added that he could not have rebuilt his business without the support of his customers and friends.
He said: “Luckily I have a very supportive landlady and some very understanding suppliers.
“They all came together and helped me in any way that they could.
“Just the little things made a difference, like making a brew or packing things up or knowing where things are and helping with the stock.
“A month ago there was no light at the end of the tunnel - but my customers on Facebook said I couldn’t close.
“I’m hoping the future’s bright. You never know what’s around the corner.
“It hasn’t been the best beginning to the year, but all being well things are looking a bit rosier.”