Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Jo Persaud and Kieran O’Shaughnessy in their shop at Christmas time

Jo Persaud and Kieran O’Shaughnessy in their shop at Christmas time

Help save our Old Town corner shop

Jo Persaud, owner of the Old Town community’s shop, at 28-30 The Bourne, tells HOT’s Chandra Masoliver about the threat to its survival.

CM: Jo, when did you start working in this shop, and how long has it been yours?

JP: Kieran O’Shaughnessy and I have run the shop for the last three years.  Before that I worked in it for ten years. The whole house is owned by David O’Shaughnessy, Kieran’s brother, who still lives on the middle floor. He ran the shop, and I worked there for ten years. During that time David became ill, and I ran it for six or seven years. When he decided to retire David offered to sell me the business, and I paid for it – all the stock, fixtures and fittings.

CM: So you took over it legally, with all the necessary papers signed?

JP: Yes, in March 2019 we signed a five-year lease, with an automatic right to renew it under the Tenant and Landlord Act.  So the present agreement lasts for two more years. This can only be got out of if you have approved redevelopment plans for the property. David O’Shaughnessy has put in a request to the council for planning permission to convert the whole building into flats. Altogether it’s a complicated family affair, but we really, really want to keep this shop open.

28-30 The Bourne shop

28-30 The Bourne shop at Christmas

CM: What’s important to you about having the shop?

 JP: As well as it being our livelihood, we enjoy our customers – both local people and tourists, and the service we give to the community; everyone is welcome. We run all sorts of raffles and charity events, especially at Christmas. We put up a ceiling full of baubles for people to guess how many there are, and there’s a big raffle. Not just Christmas, we do raffles for Easter and Valentine’s day, Carnival time, all sorts through the year.

CM: I love coming to your shop, you’re open long hours, employ other nice people, and you sell all sorts of surprising items, even taking seasonal occasions, like pancake day, into consideration. There are always people talking together, and dogs too are welcome.

You’re very important for the Old Town, even essential, like how you help old people, and are always patient and kind with everybody, you’re a no-rush shop!

Jo Persaud in her shop

Jo Persaud in her shop

What can we do to help? What would you like the public to do? I know people are saying what they feel on a petition – like Gina Broughton, owner of Ruby in the Dust in the Old Town wrote: “Please, we need our local shop. It is a vital support for local people, especially older residents. We don’t need more expensive homes here, we need our community. Please don’t allow this change of use. PLEASE DON’T.”

 JP: I’d like people to come into the shop and sign our petition, and sign and write their objections on our online petition as well. They can object on the site for Hastings Planning, 28-30 The Bourne


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Posted 15:07 Thursday, Mar 3, 2022 In: Home Ground,HOT Topics


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  1. Yee Chuan Mayhew

    Fact 1:- This is a shop and the owner of the premises wants to convert it into a flat

    Fact 2:- Jo Persaud is the owner of the business.
    I cannot find anything misleading or biased in this interview. It’s clearly just stating the facts.

    Fact 3:- This dispute would be ongoing with whomever owned the premises related or not.
    I don’t see why family relations are in any way relevant.

    Fact 4:- 600 signatures and 138 online comments within two weeks is significant and would argue a consistent customer base.

    Fact 5:- The business provides a good living for Jo and Kieran because they work hard to make it successful. Therefore it’s not failing.

    Comment by Yee Chuan Mayhew — Sunday, Mar 20, 2022 @ 11:42

  2. Monica blake

    Fact 1 it’s a shop that the owner wants to change to a flat.
    Fact 2 Jo Persaud owns the business .
    These are the facts. Nothing else is needed to be aired in public as Mr. Knight mentioned but proceeded to do.
    I don’t find anything to be misleading or biased , nothing mentioned in the article is untrue.

    Comment by Monica blake — Sunday, Mar 20, 2022 @ 07:34

  3. Stewart Kirby

    Clearly you should not be commenting then and I think the interview states the clear facts and Mr O’shaughnessy’s name is clearly stated on the planning notice for all to see.

    Comment by Stewart Kirby — Friday, Mar 18, 2022 @ 14:50

  4. C Edwards

    It’s interesting how biased this article is and incredibly misleading! All of the facts haven’t been published and I find naming the owner in yet another post is rather inflammatory in an already difficult situation. Clearly things are not all as Ms Persaud is stating, or there wouldn’t be a situation like this happening.

    Comment by C Edwards — Friday, Mar 11, 2022 @ 07:36

  5. ken davis

    It would appear that you do not have all the facts on this!

    Comment by ken davis — Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 @ 08:50


    This is a dispute between two brothers, family. Dont see how having a Petition is going to help that, just annoy and irritate his brother more. Taking your family arguments public. The argument is not with the council or some public body or awful landlord the dispute is with his brother.

    This must be a discussion with them. And I guess Jo and Keiran are worried about their income and livelihood. Not getting any younger.

    To be honest the shop is not as popular or run as well as the one on the High Street. It does not get the same customer footfall, and usually empty. Its poor competition for the one on High St.

    This is a discussion between the brothers and family. One option is to change it into a franchise shop such as One Stop (Franchise of Tescos) Londis, Spar, etc

    No matter what the sentiments are, the shop is not as popular or profitable as the ones on High St and George St. No as much footfall. Unless it is from the Nelson.

    But this is a discussion and argument between the brothers and their partners and spouses.

    is Keiran and Jo getting any income from changing it into flats, Is David going to be generous and recognise and reward their help and endeavour? Or is it like some wicked Uncle who is going to throw them out into the snow like orphans?

    It is Not The Best and never has been. Cant park because of the road and pedestrian crossing.

    Comment by J B KNIGHT — Monday, Mar 7, 2022 @ 10:57

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