THE owner of a beloved greengrocers is shutting up shop as he prepares to retire after more than 40 years in business.

Wray Brocklebank, of Brocklebanks in Dalton, will close his doors at the end of month after a successful career at the heart of the community. Mr Brocklebank, who started working at the business with his parents 42 years ago, said he would miss running the Market Street shop.

“I’ve put everything into it and never stopped,” he admitted. “I always say if I got in any time after 5am I was too late.

“My brother retired three years ago and it’s been very hard keeping everything going.”

Aged 65, the grocer was recently fitted with a pacemaker and decided to step away from the shop following episodes of health problems.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many thousands of customer we have served throughout these years and the many staff that have been loyal to us,” he added.

The former J H and G Brocklebank, run by Mr Brocklebank’s parents, started with a base in Station Road before moving premises.

The grocer has provided fruit and vegetables to a number of business including the King Alfred Hotel on Walney and the Barrow market stall. Mr Brocklebank sold his Ulverston Brocklebanks grocer in Market Street two months ago and the shop will finish trading on August 31.

He said he would spend his retirement walking in the fells and cycling.

Wendy Maddox, a Dalton councillor, said: “Lots of people in Dalton will really miss the shop.

“It has always been really well used.

“In a supermarket people look at you funny when you want to buy one banana or one apple.

“It’s a really community shop and people will be really sad to see it close.”

Blocklebanks Florist, operated by Aimee Pettigrew at the front of the shop, will stay open for business.