The owners of a popular independent hardware store have announced they are retiring from the business after more than 60 years behind the till.
Paul Kirkham joined his father in running K Hardware in Church Street, Cromer in 1952 when he was just a teenager.
Over the years the family business has sold thousands of items, gained a loyal following and at one point included several other sites in Cromer and neighbouring towns of Sheringham and Aylsham.
But now, Mr Kirkham and his wife, Yvonne, have decided it is time to retire and have launched a retirement sale before they close the shop at the end of the year.
Mr Kirkham said the decision to retire and leave the shop which “had been his life” had not been an easy one to make but that he could only “go on so long.”
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He said: “I will miss the shop. I still love the shop and it’s really a hard one, but you can only go on for so long. You can’t go on until you’re 100.
“It’s been my life, I started when I was 15-years-old. I love all of it, we have always had great staff, it’s just been a very good business, smashing customers and Cromer has been very kind to us, it’s a nice place to be.”
The couple, who said they intended to spend their retirement visiting Yorkshire, the Midlands and gardening, said they wished to thank all their customers for their support over the years and their many staff for their hard work.
Mrs Kirkham said since news of the retirement sale had spread they had received lots of messages.
She said: “We’ve had lots of people saying how sorry they are to see the shop closing. Some people are quite upset it’s closing but my husband is of an age now that he needs to retire. He’s very sad about it, but there comes a time when you have got to do these things.”
K Hardware will keep trading until December 24, 2021. The couple have not yet decided whether the site will be sold as a hardware business or an empty retail premises.