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Southend’s Sancto to close

Sancto party shop in Southend has announced it will be closing its doors for the final time at the end of September.

The store has been part of Southend’s high street for 70 years and was taken over from Mr Sancto by the Solly family in 1953. Alan and Mirjam Solly ran the store for over 52 years, then their son, Steve, took over in 1993, and their daughter, Anne has worked there since 2000.

In a statement, the family said: “Sancto has been a monumental landmark of Southend town centre for the past 70 plus years. It will be a very, very sad day when the store finally closes as such a huge part of the community.

“But we want to look at it as a positive thing for the family as it is the right time for us. The right time as a family to call it a day. But the time to retire has arrived.”

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