The popular owner of a Woodley newsagents is stepping down after serving the community for 54 years.

Neighbours have raised £140 for to say farewell to Terry Edwards, 79, on his last day on Sunday.

Three generations of his family have worked at TT Edwards, which will change hands to new owners on Monday (August 1).

“After 54 years of serving our local community, it is with sadness that the time has come for me to finally retire,” said Terry.

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“My family and I would like to thank you all for your support and custom over the years. I have made a lot of good friends over that time, and seen many of you grow from children to adults with families of your own now.

“As I am fast approaching 80 years old, I hope you will appreciate that it is time for me to have some rest and spend more time with my family.

“I will miss you all, with your daily chats and local gossip, but will no doubt see you all around Woodley soon. Thank you all.”

Reading Chronicle: Photograph taken by Tanya MitchellPhotograph taken by Tanya Mitchell

Terry, who was raised by shopkeepers in Whitley, opened his first shop in the same suburb, before moving to Howth Drive in Woodley in the summer of 1968.

He and his daughters Tanya Mitchell and Tracey Lailey, and their daughters in turn, have run the store ever since – with Terry only taking Christmas Day off each year.

“All his life the shop has been his life. Everything that he’s ever done is with the shop involved in it,” said Tanya, 55.

“He’s a very hard worker. It was bred in him from his mum and dad, from having theirs.

“It’s just part of him, he just loved it there. I think he would have lived there forever if he could have.”

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She said the shop has changed over the years but retains its community feel thanks to the people that live in Woodley.

“It’s a really nice local community where everybody knows everybody.”

Tanya said that if Terry had his way, he would sneak out the back door without a fuss on Sunday, but the residents of Woodley have other plans.

Resident Tonette Kerr launched a fundraiser to put towards a gift for the long-standing shopkeeper, who said the town would be sad to see such a respect, hard-working man go.