Cigar smoking chimp inspires name of new Bury St Edmunds shop

Marcia Riddington with Jacko the smoking monkey.
Smoking Monkey Antiques St Johns Street Bury St Edmunds.
Picture Mark Westley ANL-160831-123707009
Marcia Riddington with Jacko the smoking monkey. Smoking Monkey Antiques St Johns Street Bury St Edmunds. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160831-123707009
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A cigar smoking chimp has inspired the name of a new antiques shop in Bury St Edmunds - and he is making his presence felt in the store.

Marcia Riddington has taken her love for antiques to the next level after opening Smoking Monkey Antiques, in St John’s Street.

Official opening of a new antique shop on St John Street, Smoking Monkey Antique 

Pictured: Mayor of St Edmundsbury Julia Wakeham, Marcia Riddington (Shop owner) family and friends ANL-160829-233647009

Official opening of a new antique shop on St John Street, Smoking Monkey Antique Pictured: Mayor of St Edmundsbury Julia Wakeham, Marcia Riddington (Shop owner) family and friends ANL-160829-233647009

The name was inspired by a simian tale from the family of her friends Pat Joy and Pat’s daughter Lizzie who help in the shop.

Pat’s husband’s grandad had a pet monkey called Jacko, who had a penchant for a cigar and a drink.

When Jacko died, the family had him stuffed and he now takes pride of place on top of an alcove in the shop.

Ms Riddington said: “I’m not sure how we came to put the two together but for some reason we got from this smoking monkey to the antique shop name.

“He looks rather grand up there sitting looking down on everything.”

After 20 years of working for the NHS, she has fulfilled a long held ambition by launching the shop.

“I’ve always loved antiques ever since I was young and since I retired from my proper job I’ve been buying and selling through fairs and a couple of centres and online,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to have a shop so when I saw this one on the market it looked like a perfect antique shop.”

The store prides itself on a wide variety of wares.

“I know some antique shops have a specific age like you can’t sell anything newer than the 1960s,” Ms Riddington said.

“I’ve decided against that because something can be 30 years old and still be really beautiful.

“I’ve got six other dealers who are renting spaces from me so we’ve got a good selection - we complement each other.”