A long-standing hardware shop in Garstang is closing its doors after its popular owners decided to retire.
Kate and Tony Billington are calling a day on their working life after running Billington’s Electricals in High Street for the last 21 years.
Staff and customers alike say the couple’s departure is the end of an era.
“I’ve had customers near to tears because Kate is closing up,” said Karen Wood, who works at the shop. “It’s an end of an era for Garstang. They deserve a good send off.”
Karen added: “It’s not just the community; she’s been involved in the Chamber of Trade and Commerce helping with the likes of the Victorian Festival.
“She’s done a lot for the town.”
The couple, from Grimsargh, have been integrated in Garstang’s community for decades, with Kate playing on the town’s hockey team and Tony on the football and cricket teams.
Kate said: “We’ve always had a connection to the town and its community.”
She added: “It’s a little old fashioned shop for people to get their bits and pieces for their home.
“I also worked on Garstang Market for 10 to 12 years too.
“It was then that the former owner of the electricals shop, Gerald Carter, said that he was retiring and we decided to take over it.”
“I’m feeling pretty sad about leaving it behind; I will miss it,” added Kate.
“But everyone has been so kind and so nice.”
Everyone coming through the doorts is telling us how much they are going to miss us and the shop.”
As for what’s next, Kate said “we’re not sure yet, but someone said to me ‘this is the next chapter in the book’ which is something I like.
“A lot of customers over the years still come to us from as far as Longton. They used to use the shop in Preston for their bits and pieces and they still make the trip to come and see us.
“I’d just like to say that we would like to thank every single person in Garstang for their custom and kindess over the years.”
Mayor of Garstang, Coun Peter Ryder, said: “Anyone who knows Garstang and the Billingtons knows how great a shop it is on the High Street. They are a lovely couple and I wish them all the best.
“The shop will be missed; it’s a shame to be losing a long-standing independent electrical store.”