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WATCH: Poundland founder opens doors to £2m mansion in charity fundraiser

The true rags-to-riches story of how the Poundland founder went from selling tubes of toothpaste on a market to owning one of the biggest franchises in the country will be revealed during an open day.


Keith Smith is opening the doors to his £2 million mansion to raise money for his local church and history group.

Mr Smith bought Ludstone Hall, near Bridgnorth, in 1997 and has built a museum detailing his rise from an ordinary market seller to one of the country's finest entrepreneurs.

The 400-year-old mansion boasts 10 acres of land, a fishing pool and a moat.

The museum within the grounds covers Mr Smith's rise from Hooty's Cash and Carry in Bilston to the Poundland empire he created with his son, Steve, before selling up in 2012.

Mr Smith said: "When I sold the franchise there were 80 stores and now there are more than 500.

"The idea for Poundland started in 1990 after I noticed that one box of items selling for a shilling would make more money that than anything else on the stall.

"I am from Willenhall originally and when I was younger I started an apprenticeship with Wellamn, Smith & Owen in Willennhall.

"I stayed there for five years and I would go occasionally to Wednesbury Technical College but rather than carry on working there I decided to work on the markets in Bilston.

"That's what got me into buying and selling. The museum will show visitors how Poundland all started."

Ludstone Hall itself is steeped in history, with the original building dating back to 1098.

Mr Smith will reveal the background to the hall, its grounds and how he came to own it during the open day on July 12, from 10am to 5pm.

Entry costs £3 and free for children with all proceeds going to All Saints Church in Claverley.

Donations from the museum will go to the historical society, Claverley Memories Group.

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