Jeweller Norman Oldfield is hanging up his eyeglass just short of his platinum annniversary in the bling business.
Preston’s longest-standing shopkeeper is intending to call it a day tomorrow, just days before his 81st birthday.
Norman, who has been selling jewellery in the city centre for 67 years, has reluctantly decided to pack up on health grounds.
“I don’t really want to finish,” he said. “I wanted to reach 70 years in the business. But I’ve got health issues and so I’ve decided it’s time I sold up and spent a bit more time with my family.”
Norman, who owns Hackler’s in Lune Street, started out in the trade in the early 1950s, working for Whittles. He set up his own business in 1957.
When he pulls down the shutters for the final time tomorrow he admits there could be a few tears.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much,” he said. “It will be a big wrench giving it up after all these years. I’m bound to feel it.
“I’m well-known in Preston after all these years in business. And I’d like to think I am well-liked, but you never know. I believe I’m the longest-serving shopkeeper in the city centre, just ahead of Margaret Mason the florist.
“When I started in the Miller Arcade, she started shortly after me in the same building.
“To be honest I’ve been retiring for years, yet not gettting round to it.
“ It’s become a bit of a standing joke in the town, with me saying I’m finishing and then not going through with it.
“They’ll all be laughing and saying ‘not again.’ But it’s for real this time. Honest.”