Shop owner Catherine Darby had such a soft spot for Yorkshire Street in Morecambe she set up a furniture business there.
The AlleyCat (in the former cheese and bacon shop), sells furniture ‘upcycled’ by Catheerine in her own unique way and also vintage bags, sideboards, cupboards, tables, dolls houses and much more.
Catherine, 56, who was an art teacher at HMP Lancaster Farms for 18 years has swapped teaching prisoners to set up her own business.
She said: “I loved my job as a n art teacher but I needed to do something for me. I enjoy going to auctions and buying piece s of furniture for ‘upcycling’ .
Every piece of furniture is individual, bespoke, and has its own surface. It can take days or weeks to complete.
“I love Victorian, baroque, Roccoco, and Swedish and French furniture and use these influences in my work. My workshop is in the back of the shop. It’s not for the money, it’s for the love and the passion of it.
“I love gold, crusty and old surfaces, , the deep, dark, grungy colours, leather bibles and books, things that have got a story.
“The imperfections I would leave.
“Before I opened the shop, I was looking down alleys for a cheap workshop when I came to the old cheese and bacon shop.
“That’s how I came up with the name. People love the shop and I’m even converting younger people to like the old stuff!”
Catherine’s sister Jen Darby said: “She is incredibly talented and I would like her to have the recognition that she deserves.”