A COUPLE who have run an Urmston hardware shop for 30 years are handing over the reins.

Bill and Pam Astle have passed on Homewares, on Church Road, which is affectionately known as Bill’s Hardwares, to their friends Sarah and David Gregson.

Bill, who is 70, said: “We’ve got a narrow boat on the canal and now we can go further afield and just chill out and we’ve got a grandchild so we won’t be bored.

“We’ll still be popping in but it will be a bit weird having to pay for stuff.”

Bill and Pam spent two weeks in the store with Sarah, who has worked as a paralegal and for the NHS, and Dave who was formerly a maintenance manager, showing them the ropes and said they felt confident leaving Homewares in their care.

The couple also thanked the community for all their well wishes.

“We’ve been overwhelmed really, because we’ve had so many cards and things,” said Bill.

“It’s been incredible really, one of my customers has even written a poem for the shop.”

Another customer, Ena Lee, said the couple would be missed and paid tribute to Bill’s ability to find anything a customer wanted, even if something was not in stock.

“Nothing is too much for them, it is a fantastic shop an Aladdin’s cave, but it is Bill and Pam that give the best customer service in the area,” said Ena.

Sarah added: “We are going to continue the same as Bill and Pam and we are going to keep the shop exactly as it is offering the same service – if we haven't got it in we will order it in.”