A Sutton family business which has been passed down through generations is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The tale for Graham Lee Carpets began in 1960 as partners Fred Whant and Fred Kemp opened their first store in Mitcham - which was named after their eldest sons, Graham and Lee.

Their partnership ended after a few years but Fred Whant carried on running the company.

Graham the eldest son joined the business full time in 1972 after working on Saturdays for a year.

Four years later and the Rosehill shop was opened and Martin, Fred’s second son, joined the company after previously working for Lillywhites in London.

In 1979 the Worcester Park shop was opened with Brian Porter joining the company from another carpet retailer.

Fred retired in 1987 with Graham and Martin carrying on as partners.

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Mitcham 1960 - Fred & Fred

In 1988 the Cheam Village shop was opened after it had been trading as L.J Carpets for the previous 25 years.

1990 saw the closing of the Mitcham shop after 30 years and in 1992 the Rosehill shop also closed, enabling the expansion of the Worcester Park & Cheam Village shops.

The 3rd generation of Whants joined in 2003, Graham and Martin's sons Mark and Greg. 2003 also saw the company becoming an Ltd company.

2014 saw Martin’s son in law Colin join the company, working alongside with Martin at Worcester Park.

Three years later saw Graham’s daughter Kelly joining the company.

At the end of 2018 Martin and Graham retired with Mark and Greg continuing as partners.

Now in its 60th year, Colin said he felt immense pride at being able to continue on the legacy.

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Graham and Martin

"As a family business, this is becoming more of a rare occurrence nowadays in High Street businesses, especially regarding the country's situation with Brexit and how companies will be affected," he told the Sutton Guardian.

"Also in recent times it is a common thing that UK high streets are dwindling and we must support local businesses. There has been a few occasions in the last 20 years that have been hard but together we have overcome times when the UK has been hit hard with recessions."

Colin added that the love and community spirit they receive is a massive boost.

"We do a lot of repeat business where customers have had their carpets supplied and fitted by us decades ago and then come back to use us years later," he said.

"It has now got to a point where children of old customers are now having their flooring requirements supplied by ourselves."