A shopkeepr who has run an Accrington store for 70 years is set to call it a day
Anne Parkin, 92, opened what was to become the Lancashire shop in 1940 and has finally decided to retire.
The doors to the Burnley Road store will close at the end of November.
Anne, a mum-of-one, born and raised in Accrington, said: "I will be really upset about leaving. I don’t want to.
"I was going to lock the door and that was that.
"But I have spoken to the Observer for the first time so people at least know.
"I don’t want to upset people who come back to the shop from all over the world."
She added: "Seventy years is a long time. It’s all I have done everyday since I was 21 and it has been lovely.
"The town has changed completely but so have people. People who used to come in when I started now have grandchildren themselves."
The shop didn’t have a name when she opened it in 1940 but developed its niche after stocking Lancashire goods in the post war years.
It now sells every kind of book and art materials including oil and watercolour paints, brushes, paper, canvasses, cards and little model Pendle Witches, and has proved a popular stop-off for many tourists.
People from Australia, Russia, Canada, America, Turkey, China and many other countries throughout the world have all signed Anne’s customer book.
Anne said that she felt it was time to slow down and there was no-one to take over the running of the shop.
Former St John’s Primary School and Grammar School pupil Anne, who still works three days a week, said: "I don't know how people know about my shop. I have never advertised, it’s a miracle.
"People from Accrington and Lancashire come in too but I guess people who come from abroad want to take something back home with them and that’s what’s happened."
Balmoral Road resident Anne said: "My husband Alan still drops me off for my shifts and I will miss it when I close."
"It’s a different sort of shop than most shops. I’m not a proper shopkeeper. I just did what I felt like and have never done what makes a lot of money.
"It has always been a happy place. I’ve never had an awkward customer. I would work forever but my health worries my family."
She added: "I always say to young people who come in, when you go for a job don’t ask them how much you are going to get paid, ask yourself if you are going to be happy. If you enjoy it, it’s not work."