LONDON — Philip Poole, London's favorite purveyor of pens, nibs and peacock feathers, is closing shop, and with him goes another little piece of England.
Poole is giving up his Drury Lane shop in the heart of London's theater district, forced out by a rent hike from $9,900 to $32,000 a year.
It may be inevitable in this age of supermarkets, word processors and ballpoint pens. But to lovers of tradition and good service, it is a tragedy. The closing of Philip Poole's is being recorded wistfully in newspapers and television, and customers are flocking in to buy up supplies for the lean years ahead.
Poole, 79, is so well-known in his field that he is nicknamed His Nibs. For 56 years, he has sold and repaired pens for cartoonists, artists and practitioners of penmanship. But the store that bears Poole's name sits on some of the choicest real estate in London, and a sudden tripling of the rent is not unusual.