BUSINESS owners who have served the town loyally for nearly nine decades have bid an emotional farewell.

Drews the Ironmongers ceased trading on December 21, with many loyal customers popping into the store for one last time.

The shop has faced financial difficulties in recent years due to the competition from internet purchases.

A statement of Facebook read: "Thank you to all our customers for your business and your friendship over the years.

"We've been touched by the many messages of support since we announced our closure and we're proud to have made our mark in the town.

"Thanks too to our excellent staff who have always strived to give the best service and advice.

"You've always been the beating heart of our family business. We wish you good fortune in whatever comes next for you."

The closure of Drews will result in loss of 26 jobs. The much-loved store had been running for 87 years.