It’s the end of an era for a Clitheroe businessman who is retiring after 50 years.

Peter Croft, owner of Harrisons Welding and Engineering Supplies on Kendal Street, is hanging up his overalls after working at the business since 1974.

When he joined the team, aged 27, the site was called Harrisons Engineering.

Peter took over as sole proprietor of the business, which specialises in welding and engineering supplies, in 1991.

The shop itself will also close as Peter could not find a suitable person to take on the business.

The 77-year-old said: “I have mixed feelings about leaving as this place has been my whole life. I am sad because I have met a lot of people over the years. Some have since died and others I have watched leave school [and grow up].

“It has definitely been an interesting few years.

“I think I have done well to keep it open after all of this time - I have still been filling out invoices right up until closing.”

Peter said all stock has been sold off and says the building is set to be cleared out by the end of the month.

 “One of the biggest things I am going to miss is the people,” Peter said.

“A lot of customers are disappointed that we have closed. They are asking where they are going to go for [supplies] now.”

He had become a fixture in Clitheroe providing vital welding and engineering supplies to many local firms surrounding area.

Peter was described as “a lifeline to many farmers”, particularly during the pandemic. This was because he found a way to safely stay open and sell farmers the necessary provisions while they were working.

The future of the site is unknown as Peter has been unable to find someone to take over the business.

He said: “We are closing things over because no one wants to take the business on. We were holding on as we wanted to take the business on.

“I am sad that we are finishing. I would have loved somebody to carry it on as it had so much potential.

“I have put so much work into it over the years and it is just a shame it’s going to stop. It is a very diverse business and we had a lot of knowledge related to the industry.”

Peter would like to thank his customers for their loyalty over the years. Without them, he says the business would not have been possible.

“I am going to enjoy my retirement now. I want to spend more time at home tending to my beehives and working on cars.”