Mark Hazel’s Gunroom: Established in Wotton-under-Edge in 1988, Mark Hazel’s Gunroom was founded after the factory Mark Hazel worked at in Yate closed down. Not wanting to leave the area, and with a lifetime passion for the countryside and all forms of shooting under his belt, he decided to set up his own business.

The former engineer said: “I do the buying, selling and handle all repairs, so I can guarantee the best possible service. It is what I would want so why not make it available to my customers?”

The Wotton Chamber of Trade’s president Duncan Elliott recognises this milestone achievement in the town. He said: “Mark has always been a stalwart supporter of the chamber.

“When Mark moved here the chamber was in a form of hibernation. Along with some other businesses he managed to get it going again. It was Mark who pushed the concept of lunchtime opening. Over the years there have been many changes and unfortunately not all of the traders have survived, particularly in the current recession. He is to be congratulated.”

Mark commented on the effects of the two recessions he has experienced. He said: “The first recession that I experienced was one where negative equity was at issue. People’s houses were at risk but they still had money to spend. This time round has been very different. Their houses were safer but their jobs were at risk. With the fear of unemployment around they were not so keen to spend.”

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