The owner of Falmouth's longest-running shop has shared his secrets to a successful business.

Clockmaker Colin Nunn, who owns 105-year-old John Maggs in Gas Works car park, owes his success to a combination of passion, having found the right market and a work-life balance.

Colin, who turns 92 this year, said: "I think it's a niche subject, I was always interested in what I was doing and I've got a very good wife."

Falmouth Packet:

Colin Nunn outside John Maggs' Gas Works headquarters. Picture: Will Dax

His antiques shop John Maggs became the longest-running store in Falmouth after Richard Nunn (no relation) retired and shut his furniture shop Richard Cook last month, which at that point had been open for 115 years.

Colin has worked in John Maggs since moving to Falmouth from London in 1954. Back then, the main focus of the business was on antique printmaking, but in recent years the "digital camera and the printer" caused a cliff fall in print sales. Colin said: "Between the two they could copy anything. They were fake."

Falmouth Packet:

The original John Maggs store, which is now De Wynns coffee shop and Miller and Son estate agents. Picture: Will Dax

The decline in business meant that it became too expensive to run the shop from its Church Street location, and so the original John Maggs became DeWynn's coffee shop and Miller and Son estate agents.

Tucked away in his inconspicuous car park headquarters, Colin spends his days tinkering with clocks of all kinds – from ornate golden showstoppers with intricate mechanical displays to more modest mantlepiece timekeepers.

Luckily, clock-making has always been his favourite part of the business.

Falmouth Packet:

Colin spends his days tinkering with clocks of all kinds. Picture: Will Dax

Colin said: "[People bring] in something that belonged to their parents or something that hasn't worked for five or six years and I can get it going, and that's wonderful."

He remembers when Falmouth was a very different town.

He said: "It's not the same Falmouth as '54, no. I think the seasons were more pronounced. There was a very definite cut-off date, tourists seemed to disappear. The docks were very, very busy. Very busy.

"It used to be a sight of seeing the dock workers on cycles, and there were hundreds of them who'd come through the streets here. That's all disappeared."

When asked whether the town had changed for better or worse, Colin replied "you can't answer that", saying that some aspects had been positive and others negative. 

For more information on John Maggs, visit