A COUPLE are saying a sad goodbye to their newsagents after 18 years.
Barry Paffett and his wife Esther have owned and run Edgar Hills News in Albert Road, Southsea, since 1995 but are retiring at the end of this month.
The couple work split shifts in the shop and have only taken the occasional few days off since they bought the newsagents.
But they are looking forward to a well-earned retirement.
Barry, 65, from Harold Road, said: ‘I admit it will be quite sad because of all the early-morning banter I have with the customers.
‘But after 18 years of early mornings, I’m looking forward to retiring.
‘Every Monday to Saturday I would get to the shop at 4.45am in time for the national papers and then on a Sunday I would treat myself to a lie-in and not get there till 5.30am.
‘So that is one thing I will not be missing.’
Barry and Esther will celebrate their last day on April 27 with a family get-together at the 149 Club in Albert Road.
But the couple haven’t thought further ahead than that and only want to go on holiday in the foreseeable future.
Barry added: ‘We have no long-terms plans but we’d quite like a holiday as we have never had more than a couple of days off since we got the shop. And even then, it was constantly on our mind.
Edgar Hills News will remain a newsagents with the former owner buying it back from Barry and Esther.
So the pair have been able to tell their regular customers that they can still collect their papers from the shop.
Barry said: ‘People were sad when they heard we were retiring but most worried about where they were going to get their paper.
‘But fortunately it is a staying a newsagents.’
Barry and Esther’s family occasionally help out at the shop and their daughter Dawn has covered shifts.
She thinks it is amazing how popular her parents are with the community.
Dawn said: ‘My parents know nearly every customer on a first-name basis and they have all expressed their sadness at their retirement.
‘Nothing is never too much bother for them and they both love nothing more than ensuring that their customers get what they want.
‘If anyone deserves to retire, it is them.’