THE owner of the oldest owner-occupied shop in Barnard's Green is retiring after 22 years.

Mike Montfort opened Just Sew in 1979 as a haberdashery and dressmaking shop. Since then it has seen a slight name change to Just So and has branched out from dressmaking into other areas.

"Over the years with the demise of dressmaking we made changes and adapted," said Mr Montfort, who spoke fondly of his time in charge of the business.

"It's been incredible, it's been a way of life for me for all that time, the changes we've seen in all that time.

"It's the local people that have helped it be a success, they've been so supportive. I'll miss the friendliness of the customers."

The shop will be taken over by Jane and Stephen Knowles, of the Holdfast Cottage Hotel, in Welland, some time in November.

Mr Montfort said customers would not notice a big difference when he leaves.

"The time has come, the shop will carry on as before with the same staff," he said.

Jane Knowles described the shop as "a real Aladdin's Cave".

"I often pop in for candles or napkins for weddings at the hotel," she said.

"About a year ago I approached Mike and said if he ever wished to sell the business to please let us know, and he did!"