Wardles Home Care Centre 1976-2016

Wardles Care Centre Has Now Closed Down. But please note -

**We have since been contacted by scores of former Wardles customers who required service and assistance with their home-care products - and we have been delighted to help**

We were told on many occasions that Wardles contact telephone number, 01782 215160, since their closure, just rang out and out unanswered. This frustrated many. So, we at Castle Comfort announce that we have acquired this number. As such, anyone now calling Stoke on Trent 215160, which surely having been saved and used for many years, will be answered (24/7) by the helpful team at CCC.

 

Now, please spare a few moments and read how Keith Simpson, a local lad from Cross Heath, in his own words, embarked upon quite an incredible mission ...

Wardles Care Centre Now Closed DownWardles Care Centre Now Closed Down 'You get it from Wardles' was the answer to my questions in the late 1990's when I was researching the local mobility products market.

I embarked on this research so I could start dealing with buying independent living products for my own mother, the full story of which I have never previously documented before. But now Wardles Home Care Centre on the Potteries Way in Stoke on Trent is no longer, so I will now safely tell a story. (Before, with Wardles still trading... they might just have thought of accusing of me being a touch cheeky!)

The sudden disappearance of a competitor in our ever growing sector is both sad and unnecessary. Our own increasing share of the market locally for Riser Recliner Chairs, Adjustable Beds and nationally - stairlifts may have some bearing for this. But only some. Other arrivals in the mobility products world not only survive but do well - so one has to think that Wardles either got a lot wrong - or the accountants of their holding company did not see fit to try and sell the business as a going concern. Who knows? But a shame indeed - and we wish their staff and management well - presumably either staying with the Well Pharmacy (Bestway Group) group or moving on to new pastures.

As from now, perhaps, it won't (indeed can't) be a case of 'you get it at Wardles'...rather - 'you get it at Castle Comfort'.

 

Here's what I did for my mum...

Wardles Home Care CentreWardles Home Care Centre Several hours were spent mystery shopping around Newcastle and the Potteries, calling first to a mobility shop in Stoke. As they are still trading it's incorrect to quote names. After waiting ages, the woman in the shop, pointed to a leaflet display and told me to pick up whatever brochures I wanted!

End of story there you may think - but not quite. One of the brochures gave me the contact details of a riser recliner chair manufacturer who I contacted. Their rep was at my recently bought premises within 2 days, and I opened an account. We still sell their chairs to this day.

After this I popped in to several local chemists and pharmacies and asked the right questions as to where I could buy these types of products. One chemist was Gaz Kaplinski who I knew well personally, and had sadly now passed away. He also said the same as other chemists - 'contact Wardles'.

So I did. But before I drove there, I phoned to ask the opening hours. The only telephone number I could find was engaged. It was engaged ten minutes later. It was engaged an hour later. Two hours later it was still engaged. There wasn't even an answer. Just engaged... derr... derr... derr... derr. When it wasn't engaged and it rang out.. there was just no answer - a bit like the doctor's! But at the doctor's they have an answer phone. Wardles have never even had one of those!



Within a few months of trading in riser chairs and electric beds - we opened a display stall at Hanley Indoor market. It was only a stone's throw from the Wardles store and I knew we were up against it. It was an idea that came to me that actually kick started what is now a local and national phenomenon. This idea is still implemented by Castle Comfort to this day and is one of the most appreciated and welcome PR policies.

 

An old lady came to me and asked if we sold walking stick ferrules (stoppers). She explained she usually got them from Wardles but last time she called in they didn't have any. Phoning first before she went back again she had apparently just got the engaged tone. (that rang a bell I thought, or rather a derr... derr... derr) So I took a desperate measure as I wanted to impress this lady. Gladys was her name, from Shelton. So I took the rubber stopper off a walking stick we had for sale, and fitted it on to her trusted cane.

'How much?' she said. I said 'nothing love' just let us send you our Christmas Calendar so she gave me her name and address to help her keep in touch with our services. I then bought a big stock of ferrules and decided it was the way forward. It seemed a much needed item for anyone who relied on a walking stick. And to this day I can't recall ever having charged for one.

Gladys gave me a hug and her address. After her initial expression of delight to this kind deed this lady came back during the following years and invested in several Riser Recliner Chairs, a massage therapy chair, several scooters and then, before her passing, a stairlift.

 

Anyway back to Wardles. Over the years we have had occasions where we needed to call them and also met an endless stream of local people who said the same thing. - 'phone engaged. Always. Guaranteed. 'derr... derr... derr. A kind of a 'Wardles status system'. Then eventually when it does ring out - no answer. We have even spotted over the years on-line comments from irritated members of the public mentioning the fact.

When I once spoke to Mr Andrew Wardle, son of the founder, he mentioned that he was aware we had opened up but found competition 'quite healthy' and didn't mind losing the odd order to people like us. Well, we do delivery from stock, on the same day if possible and remove your old chairs or beds for free. We also answer our phone promptly!

After a two years presence at Hanley market the Wardle family left and the business was absorbed by a large group. Now many years later, as I write, the arrival of another large concern has acquired the Wardles shop and name and sadly closed it down.

But we'll make no more comments- other than that we are pleased to remind all that we will be offering our services for many years to come. So to pharmacies and all others, don't think 'Wardles; please think 'Castle Comfort Centre.' If the thought of mobility products - especially Riser Recliner Chairs, Adjustable Beds or stairlifts crops up - we repeat - think ' Castle Comfort.'

 

Wardles Walking Sticks now at Castle Comfort CentreWardles Walking Sticks now at Castle Comfort Centre As a foot note we have just bought a lot of the remaining Walking Sticks and ferrules from Wardles as the store closed. After they kindly delivered it all I was asked to call them to pay on a card for the agreed amount...

You are expecting me to say that I got a 'drr drr dr '- or a 'no answer' but an amazing thing happened, my call got through... THEY ANSWERED - and wished us well!

Photos of ex-Wardles stock of Walking Sticks which will be sold off at bargain prices - or even given away if the CCC MD is on duty to happy and appreciative folk who meet him at the Haywood Hospital. Castle Comfort now have a permanent and almost daily presence at Central Outpatients.

Even President Obama's special stick offer cant beat what's on offer here!

President Obama's special stick offer

And for the students of walking cane science and the history of mans second best friend (next to his dog), take a look at our blog on the history of walking sticks

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