A MOTHER and daughter-in-law duo have joined forces to make their bookstore dream come true in Dudley.

Sharon and Lianne Cronin opened their namesake shop Cronin's Books and Bits in the Churchill Shopping Centre on August 1, having received the keys to the shop just the day before lockdown was imposed in March.

Opening a book shop of their own was a longstanding dream for the pair, who previously worked together at the The Works 12 years ago.

Now they have made their dream a reality and even built the interiors of the store themselves, with Lianne creating artwork to decorate the store.

Sharon said: "So far the feedback has been lovely, everybody has said it's what Dudley needs and that Dudley needs something a bit different.

"We want to create a place where people say "wow" when they walk through the doors and so far that has been the reaction. We've had so many lovely comments from our customers, the surrounding shops and the centre staff. Everyone seems very pleased to see a new store opening when so many are closing due to Covid.

"From feedback we have had it has given people a lift, it's a little bit of fun."

The shop sells books for all ages and features a kids corner, along with stocking gifts and quirky one-off items.

It was formally opened on August 1 with a performance from Stourbridge based magician Stuart Millward, while Peter Rabbit toured the high street to give balloons to youngsters.

Sharon and Lianne are keen for the shop to become part of the community, which is especially important for the pair as they moved to the Dudley from Farnborough in Hampshire and are now proud to call the town their home.

Sharon said: "We love it here, in Dudley and the Black Country there is a strong sense of community, everybody is proud of their roots. People down south don't have that so much."

She added the most inspiring of the project has building the shop up from scratch and appealed to other would-be shop owners: "If you want to do it, have a go!"