A Steyning man has thanked his customers for more than 40 years of business as he opens his shop doors for the final time this week.
Steyning Motor Spares in the High Street has become more than just a place for residents to get essential car and motorbike parts, but somewhere to stop for a cup of tea and a chinwag with owner, Peter Humphreys.
First opened in 1973, Peter said he never considered the shop as a business, but a good excuse to catch up with friends.
The 71-year-old said: “I didn’t really run it as a business, I ran it as a way of life. I brought up my two children here, too. I just enjoyed it.
“It’s a sad time for me. Sunday will be the last day.”
Peter said over the years people in the community would drop by just to say hello.
“It’s hard to run a shop in any town, but here I got to know people and it became a sort of club,” he said.
But Peter, who also lives above the shop, said he will have to close down due to ‘modern times’.
A new owner has bought the premises, but Peter said they will not continue Steyning Motor Spares.
He said: “I sold everything right across the board. I just can’t keep it going anymore.”
Alan Marsh, of Steyning Post Office, said it was a very useful shop in the High Street and Peter would be missed.
“He’s a well-loved Steyning character and he gets on with everyone really well.
“He always whistles along and people will have a joke with him in the shop. It’s nice to have some of these characters in the town. He will be really missed.”
Steyning Book Shop owner Sara Bowers said Steyning Motor Spares had become an institution and Peter put his distinctive mark on it.
She said: “He is such a character, the shop’s been a brilliant part of the High Street. It’s going to be strange not having it.
“He’s been fantastically kind to people who shop in there. He’s just so funny and witty and everyone knows him. It will be a shame to lose him.
Bramber Castle county councillor David Barling said: “I have been a regular customer for 20 years and I am really disappointed to learn that it is closing down. It will leave a huge gap in the local market.
“I have always received a very personal and friendly service and I was so disappointed to learn this news.”
Peter said: “From Kid Social Club aka Peter – thanks for your support, I’ll always wear it.
“I wish you all well in the future.”
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