A beloved corner shop has closed its doors after serving the Chesterfield community for more than a quarter of a century- with ‘plenty of ups and downs’ along the way.
It’s the end of an era as Alan’s Corner Shop kept Derby Road residents in newspapers, magazines and sweets for the last time before closing the shutters for good on Saturday evening (March 16).
Dutiful owner Alan Baston said he was looking forward to ‘a lie in’ after decades of 4am starts.
He said: “I’ve had some fantastic customers over the years, some of whom have become really good friends.
“That’s what little shops like mine are all about- community.
“It’s been hard at times, of course. We’ve had to contend with big chains moving in on Derby Road over the years.
“But a lot of those bigger shops are self-service now.
“I like to think we were always hands-on with customers and offered a personal touch that those huge chains can’t.
“Communities are mixed bags, aren’t they. With had some rough ‘uns and some good ‘uns come in, some highs and some lows, as you’d expect.
“But I’ve enjoyed it. I want to thank all my loyal customers for their support over all this time.”
Alan, who mans the store with his partner, Karen Seward, is now ready to enjoy a well-deserved period of retirement.
“I think I will mostly spend it watching the cricket,” he said.
“At one point I was doing 4am starts seven days a week at the shop.
“It might be like that forever now, maybe my body clock will stay that way.”
Regular customer Ellie Stanley said: “I’ve bought my Derbyshire Times every week from Alan’s for the last 20 odd years.
“It won’t be the same without him. It’s so sad to see him go.
“I am just one of the many local folk on Derby Road who will miss Alan and the local shop.”