Tributes to Preston jeweller with a 'heart of gold.'

Norman Oldfield in his jeweller's shop in Lune Street before he retired in December 2017
Norman Oldfield in his jeweller's shop in Lune Street before he retired in December 2017
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Norman Oldfield, the jeweller with “a heart of gold,” has died at the age of 82.

The owner of Hackler’s in Lune Street was the city centre’s longest-serving shopkeeper until he retired 15 months ago after 67 years in the business.

Norman (left) when he became the first driver to use the new Broughton Bypass.

Norman (left) when he became the first driver to use the new Broughton Bypass.

Florist Margaret Mason, who took over the title from her dear friend, said: “It’s so sad. Norman was such a genuine, caring person.

"It’s an old cliche, but he had a heart of gold, he really did.

“We worked a couple of doors apart in Friargate for many years and he used to come in here, sit down with a cup of tea and we used to put the world to right.”

Norman trained as a jeweller with Whittles in the city and then moved to Hackler’s in Friargate, a business he eventually bought out.

He moved his shop to Lune Street, near to its junction with Fishergate, around 20 years ago and was well-known both publicly and within the business community.

Brian Beck, who runs European Fine Arts and Antiques in Cannon Street, said: “Norman was old school. He was such a well-known Preston character.”

Norman’s daughter Alison said: “He certainly was old school. Lots of people used to pop into the shop for a coffee. It was like a gentlemen’s club.”

Norman had a passion for classic cars. In October 2017 he was the first driver on the new Broughton Bypass at the wheel of his E-Type Jaguar.

Norman's funeral will be at St George the Martyr Church, off Lune Street, on March 28 at 11.30am, followed by a private family service at Preston Crematorium.