Beer couple set sights on Oz

THE owners of Beer News are planning to head Down Under.

Yvonne and John Henderson, who have run the newsagents in Fore Street for five years, have put it on the market with a view to moving back to John’s native Australia.

John, 54, said: “We’ve both got dual citizenship and when we first came here we had a five year plan.”

While interest has been expressed in the business from as far afield as Northern Ireland, they are in no rush to leave.

John said: “We love this area, and if we didn’t have dual citizenship, we’d stay.”

They were last in Australia eight years ago. John has family in the Sydney area; his younger brother Peter has just bought a 50,000 acre cattle station near the city, which he is keen to see. His other brother, Mark, is a technician at a Sydney radio station.

Prior to settling in Beer, the Hendersons lived a year in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, prospecting for gold and minerals. They also spent six months in Fiji.

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Just before they moved to Devon, they lived in Norwich, where Yvonne has family. John was a stockbroker and Yvonne, 52, was secretary to the Sherriff of Norwich. They had had plans to go back to Australia then, but that was put on hold when they heard about the business opportunity in Beer.

John said: “We have always liked Devon and said let’s go down and have a look around. A business agent told us of the newsagents in Beer and we decided to scupper going back to Australia. I’ve had dealings with businesses before, but this was the first we’ve run.”

They have “a few irons in the fire” for when they move, but no definite plans. “I own a house and have a few contacts, so we’ll just see what happens,” said John.

He has enjoyed their time in Beer. “There are a lot of characters here. The people are very honest and proud of their heritage.

“It never ceases to amaze me the number of Australians that come here on holiday and wish they could’ve stayed longer.”

He confesses selling up was a tough decision to make “We were umming and ahhing because it’s a lovely area and business is good. We will be sad to leave after five years of being part of being part of the community.”