A FAMILY-RUN furniture shop opened by actor and Britain's former tallest man Christopher Greener is celebrating its 65th anniversary. 

Peter Green Furnishers in Chandler's Ford has supplied furniture and flooring to the community since the 1950s.

Wendy Martin Green was about one when her dad Peter Green opened the Sleep Shop in Leigh Road in 1956.

"It wasn't a bed shop for very long," she said.

"Everyone came in and asked for furniture."

In 1966, Peter bought a factory on the corner of Southampton Road and turned it into a large showroom, opened by the Mayor of Eastleigh.

"We travelled to France and there were these huge furniture shops, which gave him the idea," said Wendy, 67.

"He came back and bought a factory, and called it Peter Green.

"It was one of the first large showrooms in the region - at the time, customers had to make choices from catalogues in small high street shops. 

"People flocked from miles around to shop."

Daily Echo: The old showroom in Southampton RoadThe old showroom in Southampton Road

When Peter died in 1980, his wife Norah took over as chairman.

Five years later, there were plans to build a shopping centre and redevelop the Southampton Road site so the company moved to its current premises on School Lane.

This was opened by Christopher Greener, who back then held the title of Britain's tallest man, in 1985.

Speaking of the history of the business, Wendy, who is now executive chairman, said: "We grew up with the people. The town was small, the area was small. It wasn't a conurbation then.

"As it's grown, we have furnished and carpeted the new-builds, the schools, the hospitals, nursing homes, offices, temples, churches.

"As the area has developed, Peter Green has supplied all the furniture and flooring for these people."

Her mother died in 2010. Wendy had moved to Long Island but decided to keep the business going. She runs things using video conferencing, calls and frequent visits.

Although the business has been open for 66 years, it is marking its 65th year milestone now due to Covid.

"We are all still a family as a business, which is one of the reasons I wanted to keep it going," added Wendy.

"Through Covid, we were closed for ten months. It was hard on the nerves and hard on the bank balance.

"After lockdown, it was difficult to go into people's homes. Customers had to open all the doors, keep the windows open, and vacate the room while we would go in and fit the flooring.

"Everybody wore masks, and we would clean all touchpoints.

"We feel immensely proud we made it through Covid."

The showroom is hosting a 65-year anniversary party on Saturday, July 30 between 10am and 4pm. Anyone is invited to attend.

There will be live music, a classic car display, birthday cake, an Instagram photo booth, and a prize draw to win a real sapphire.

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