A popular businessman is preparing to shut up shop for the last time.
Eric Snowden has run his shop in Cramlington for 45 years.
But on June 25, he will be saying goodbye to his surroundings at Manor Walks shopping centre when he retires from the trade, with the lease also coming to an end.
The shop has been trading in Cramlington since 1971, and Eric has become a popular figure in the shopping centre.
Eric started working in the rag trade on his 15th birthday and has been in retailing for more than 50 years.
The retail business started with Eric’s father when he started trading door-to-door on a bicycle between Chopwell and Seghill. He eventually opened retail shops called Snowden & Conroy in Longbenton, Kenton, Killingworth and then Cramlington.
The Cramlington shop opened in 1971 when the town was being developed and sold general drapery from tea towels to clothes, wellingtons and haberdashery.
The shop became Eric Snowden in 1975 when he took over the lease from his father, starting mainly as a wool shop, but eventually becoming a ladies’, babies’ and children’s clothing stockist.
Eric, who is looking to have more time to walk, cycle, travel and see Newcastle United, said: “I would like to thank all of my customers throughout the years, old and new, for their support.
“My staff also deserve a special mention because, without their reliable work, I would not have been able to run the business.”
“Whilst looking forward to my retirement, I know I will miss the daily contact with staff and customers.
“My wife and I will continue to shop at Manor Walks, so hope to keep in contact with the friends we’ve made over the years.”