A DEVELOPER stepped back in time when he opened the door to his new property and found a perfectly preserved wartime corner shop.
Alan Duffy, 58, had bought the Burnley Road property in Accrington unseen at an auction and had no idea what lay behind its boarded up exterior.
And he said the moment he walked through the door was like stepping onto the set of classic comedy show Open All Hours.
He struggled to take it in as he saw the traditional wartime corner shop decorations and furniture, complete with products on the shelves from a bygone time.
As he looked around, he discovered handwritten invoices dating back to 1927.
It is thought the store had been closed for at least 20 years, but its decor did not look like it had been updated since it opened during the Second World War.
Alan found a magazine on the shelves called Titbits from January 23, 1971, which declared: ‘Elsie Tanner is as common as muck’ on its front page.
Alan, who owns Main Building Contractor, Griffin Works, Clement Street, Accrington, said: “I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw.
“The shop fittings including the counter were still in fantastic condition.
“It was like that little corner shop in Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker.”
Alan plans to convert the property into a house, but he said: “I am not going to do any work on the shop area until I know the contents have gone to a good home.”
The corner shop was run by a Polish couple.
Hugh Davies, who owns the nearby Hugh Davies car showroom in Burnley Road, said he remembered the shop being open.
He said: “The couple kept themselves to themselves.
"I remember going into the shop when it sold chocolate but it was very sparse as though they were just keeping it going.
“I remember once the shop was broken into and I offered a reward but nothing came of it.”
Alan Duffy said he bought the property as he noticed it was up for sale when he drove past it.
He put in an offer the day before a Pugh and Co auction in September.
The identity of the seller has not been revealed.