A familiar face at one of Horncastle’s oldest businesses has decided to retire - just one year short of a century of family ownership.
Graham Perkins locked the front door of his newsagent’s in the Market Place for the final time last Saturday evening.
Graham’s grandfather started the business in 1920 and it was then taken on by his father in the 1950s.
Graham moved behind the counter in the 70s - and he’s been a permanent fixture ever since.
However, at the age of 71, he has decided to call it a day.
Graham said: “It (retirement) has been something I’ve been thinking about for a while.
“I’m not getting any younger and my son isn’t interested in taking over.
“I put it on the market in the summer and it sold within three weeks.
“I was expecting it to take a lot longer and thought it would be next year.
“That would have been the 100th year of family ownership.That would have been really nice but 99 years isn’t that bad.”
While Graham’s friendly and familiar face will disappear, the name Perkins will live on - albeit under a new owner.
Graham revealed he had retained ownership of the building and the new business owner - who was born in Sri Lanka - will pay rent.
Graham added: “The new owner is really nice and he is keen to get started.
“He will keep the name Perkins and he is also keeping all the staff on.
“Both those things were very important to me - and are one of the main reasons why I decided to sell and not wait a few months.
“There is always a temptation to say: ‘I’ll carry on a bit longer’ but , as they say, all good things come to an end.”
Graham isn’t the only person retiring. His wife, Leah, has also decided to call it a day.
Leah has helped Graham run the business for many years, mainly focusing on greetings’ cards.
Graham added: “I don’t think she really wants to go, but she feels the same way as me.
“She’s always supported me, but a new owner means it is time to move on.”
Graham admitted the couple would miss their many loyal customers who have helped Perkins become a thriving business in difficult times for high streets.
Graham added: “We’ll miss all our customers and I’d like to thank them for all their support.
“However, I definitely won’t miss the early mornings, especially at a weekend when you start placing all the supplements in the Sunday papers!
“Seriously, it has given me a good living.
“Good luck to the new owner - and good luck to Horncastle.”