Neil Hunt has been a dry cleaner in Armidale for 51-years. He started his trade at Valet Dry Cleaners, which then traded in Beardy Street, and has been at his present location for 33-years, but all that is about to end when he closes the doors to the shop for the last time on Friday, November 9.
I have had hip replacements.Neil Hunt
“It’s not because we’re doing it tough or anything, the business is going well, but I had a fall 16 weeks ago and broke one of my artificial hips,” he said.
“I’ve had nine hip replacements in total now over the years. The others were fine because I wore them out. I had my first one at 39, and I wore them out in here just working, you know?
“I wore them out every six-years or so and they would just knock one out and put another one in and I would be back to work in a couple of weeks. But this one, because I had a fall, I broke the top off, and then I put my femur through the pelvis, put pressure on the sciatic nerve. So, I’ve got Sciatic nerve problems now.”
Neil said his recovery period was going to be about eight-months.
People want the dollars, but they don’t want the commitment.Neil Hunt
“We’ve had the business on the market for two-months and we couldn’t get a buyer for it. There’s just no interest,” he said.
“It’s a good opportunity for a young couple to come into. A young couple who want to make a go of it would make a good dollar out of it. We have, it’s been good to us.”
Neil said the business had supported staff for the last several years, but thought people were just no longer keen to work 10 hours a day for six days a week.
“And that’s what it involves. Open at 7am, shut at 5pm and work Saturdays until lunchtime,” he said.
The business is listed through First National and Neil said it would remain on the market until about January.