A MUCH-LOVED fish mongers in the town centre will be closing its doors for good today (July 9), after more than a century in the town.

Kevin Little, 73, has owned Frost’s Fishmongers, also known as The Smelly Alley Fish Company, for the past 46 years.

He said he believes it has been around since the First World War.

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“We tried everything to keep it going but there comes a time when you have to stop,” he said.

“If I were in my 40s I may have tried a few other things, but at my age you look at things differently.

“Pedestrianisation has had a big impact on us because people used to be able to buy as much as they wanted and drive home with it.

“The changes to the street have also had an impact, we have lost a lot of these businesses here.

“We have 360 lines of product here, which you can’t get anywhere else.

“We have had people come here from all over to get specific things.”

Speaking about the popularised name Smelly Alley to describe Union Street, where the fish mongers was based, Mr Little explained that, contrary to popular belief, the nickname may not have come from the distinctive odour of the fish shop.

He said that a historian had once come and spoken to him about how he had discovered the name for the street in documents as far back as the 1500s, where an open sewer used to be based.

Mr Little said: “I never found out whether it was true or not, but it would make sense.”

Mr Little also spoke about a special lift used in the fishmongers, which he believes to be the only one of its kind left in England.

The lift is used for storing products upstairs in the building, and is operated by hand via ropes that were specially fitted.

Speaking about the closure, he said: “It is a shame that after all these years it has come to this.

“It has been a hard but very fun place to work.

"I have enjoyed working here and have so many memories."

Mr Little also does stand up comedy, and lives in Somerset with his wife, who has helped him out with the business.

He said they will be looking after the many animals they have and he will be continuing with comedy.