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Time called for long-standing employee, Alan Grimwood, at Corney and Barrow


Alan is a familiar face to many in and around Newmarket as he drives the Corney and Barrow branded, red van delivering wines and spirits. But alas, after 49 years, Alan is handing in his keys and retiring on 4th March as he reaches his 65th year.

Alan has a long history with the independent wine shop on Rous Road corner, that has been providing superb ranges of wine since the 1970s.

What makes Alan’s story such an interesting one, is that his grandfather and uncle both worked at the shop as delivery drivers, as well as in charge of the cellars. He was drawn to the industry as his family ran a bottle store and he can remember helping during the school holidays. So, when turning 16 years he took over from his grandad and uncle in 1975.

Employee at Corney and Barrow, Newmarket.

The photo shown is of Alan’s grandad and uncle, taken in the 1960s at a Hunt Ball and can be seen on display in the shop. Alongside this, you can also find some other special moments captured from over the storied years of this independent wine shop, which continues to thrive and provide Newmarket with a very special offering.

Alan recalls that the shop was originally blue when it was owned by Linfords Wines. It then changed to green for a short while and is now the familiar red, since London based Corney and Barrow took over in 1990.

Corney and Barrow

Little has changed within the shop as it has retained its charming character with its wonderful displays of fine wines. Despite his many years, Alan doesn’t profess to be the best person to advise on wine, preferring to leave that role to the superb sales team, headed by Ben Pym who is always on hand to help you make the best choice.

Long before online deliveries became a concept, Alan was out and about making deliveries to regular and loyal customers including the rich and the famous, many of which he is on first named terms with. His role has been varied from driver to cellar man to stock taker to bar tender, serving drinks at a number of prestigious occasions. He recalls many wild parties and celebrations over the years – not that he is giving any secrets away!

Surprisingly, for someone who has been born and bred in Newmarket, Alan has never been to Newmarket Races other than to undertake his delivery duties. He is a regular at Tattersalls, but again not in the sales ring but behind the bar making sure stock levels are maintained.

Alas, having never married or had children, the shop will not see the next generation of Grimwoods. But their legendary status at Newmarket’s long-standing and independent wine shop will not be forgotten.

After his retirement bash next week at Tattersalls (where else!), Alan is looking forward to putting his feet up and resting after years of lifting wine boxes. Although, as a regular member of the United Reformed Church and Serving Elder, he will keep pouring the wine only now for communion purposes only.

For more information about Corney and Barrow, visit their website and if you want to learn more about wines, then book onto one of their regular tasting sessions which are held throughout the year.