TWO traditional Lindale joiners are set to retire tomorrow from their village shop after 50 years of service.

John Haines and Bill Lowrie, both aged 67, started at Whiteway’s Joinery Works as apprentices in the early 1960s.

When Bill started in 1962 there were 11 joiners working at the Smithy Hill Works premises.

All work was by hand and largely agricultural – building Dutch barns, making cartwheels and wooden rakes and mending hay carts.

Coming from Cartmel, Bill was considered an outsider at first – his ‘initiation’ came two days into the job when he was thrown into a coffin by three of the other joiners, being told “You’ll have to get in to try this for size.”

One of his first jobs was at Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, and Bill remembers not needing scaffolding because the lake had frozen and they were working on 14-inch thick ice.

Bill and John both worked on refitting the Cock and Dolphin in Kendal, the Tarn Hows Hotel and the Lakeside Hotel.

In the summer they polished floors and made repairs at schools throughout South Lakeland.

The pair took over the Lindale premises in 1975 and the business became Haines and Lowrie.

They made windows, doors and casings, stairs and roofs for new housing estates at Troutbeck and Natland, and for the conversion of many houses into retirement homes.

They have carried out council repair work for rural South Lakeland areas including Kirkby-in-Furness and Sedbergh, reglazed the town clocks at Ulverston and Grange, made doors for the council chamber at Windermere and re-roofed chalets at Water Yeat.

One of their most recent jobs was a hexagonal house on Grange Esplanade.

Bill and John said they had enjoyed ‘a lot of happy times’ and thanked all their customers over the years.

“We’ve had a lot of upset people coming into the shop since we said we were retiring,” said Bill.

“But you can’t go on forever and we’ve been thinking about it since we turned 60.”

The premises will continue to operate as a joinery, with Ian Lockyer taking over tomorrow.