AN end of an era will come to Devizes when a shop that has been synonymous with the town since 1901 becomes a charity shop.

Ducks newsagents in Maryport Street is to become a charity shop for Julia's House children's hospice and will be in close proximity to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop which opened two years ago.

The shop originally traded at 17 Maryport Street, long remembered as Duck’s Corner, until it was demolished in the 1950s as part of the redevelopment of Sheep Street. It moved to its current site on the other side of Maryport Street in 1958.

Former town councillor Tony Duck, who died earlier this year, ran the shop for many years and then handed over the reins to Ann and Philip Moore in 2010 who kept the shop's name.

Now Julia's House is to open its second Wiltshire charity shop a year after the opening of its children's hospice at Browfort, Devizes.

A spokesman for the hospice said: "The new store, in Maryport Street, will open later this summer. Work to transform the building will begin in mid-July and will be followed by a series of drop-in days in August for anyone interested in volunteering there. The shop is expected to open in late August or early September."

Retail manager Tracy Stanley said: ”We are thrilled to have found a great location for our Devizes shop. We have already had such wonderful support from the town for our hospice. Many kind people have come along to make donations at Julia’s House.

"The care team have limited storage there so it will be brilliant to have a dedicated place where people can drop off items and pop in to browse, shop and have a chat."

A number of people have taken to social media to express their sadness that the town is to lose the popular newsagents and to share their memories, especially of the era when Mr Duck was in charge.

But others have welcomed the arrival of Julia's House. The Devizes shop will be open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm and will feature a wide range of women’s men’s and children’s clothing, plus bric-a-brac, toys and homeware. Julia’s House says its shops are known for their distinct boutique style and have played a part in transforming the look and feel of charity shops locally.

Julia’s House is currently advertising for a manager and assistant manager as well as volunteering roles. Further details can be found at

Mr Duck was the latest in the long line of family members to have owned the newsagents and did not retire until he was 74,

Originally established by Francis Holland as a tobacconist and newsagent with gentlemen’s hairdressing “saloon” in 1901, it was acquired by Mr Duck’s aunt, Beatrice Chaplin (nee Duck) in 1927.

Frank Duck, who had managed the shop on his sister’s behalf, bought it from her in 1936. His son, Tony, went to work at the shop on leaving Devizes Grammar school in 1953 and eventually took it over in 1970.