VETERAN Kendal clothes retailers Geoff and Joan Hool have announced their ‘second’ retirement from business with the closure of one of the few remaining independent clothes shops in Kendal.

The couple, who founded their first fashion store nearly 30 years ago, said a final goodbye to retailing on Saturday.

Geoff and Joan, who once owned a chain of eight shops, spent their recent years in business running just one – Zoo Clothing in Kendal’s Highgate, known as Legendary Zoo.

Now the couple say they are finally looking forward to spending a large part of their retirement years in warmer climes.

“We’ve always travelled widely but with our second retirement we’ll be able to enjoy extended stays in places much warmer than the Lakes,” said Geoff.

“But we will miss our customers for their good natured and enthusiastic support. They’ve been brilliant.”

The couple founded the clothing chain Maelstrom in 1985 with a single shop in Barrow-in-Furness. Over the years the company expanded to eight shops, including a branch in Kendal.

Geoff said: “Several years ago we decided to retire and sold the Maelstrom business. Unfortunately, it did not work out for the new owners and they eventually ceased trading, leaving us in possession of a number of vacant shops.

“We decided to resume trading though having sold the business and the name Maelstrom we had to come back under a different name, hence Zoo.

Now that once again we are retiring, we would like to take this opportunity to also thank all our former colleagues, who over the years have played such an important part in making the shop successful.”