Couple retire after running Morecambe corner shop for nearly 30 years

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A couple who devoted almost 30 years to serving the public in their corner shop have retired.

Janet and John Clark ran Open All Hours, a convenience store in Blea Tarn Place, Westgate.

Janet and John Clark, who have retired from the Open All Hours Premier shop, Morecambe.

Janet and John Clark, who have retired from the Open All Hours Premier shop, Morecambe.

They took it over from Janet’s brother, also called John, nearly 28 years ago, and as a result have seen generations of the same families coming through the doors.

Their own grandchildren have also grown up with the shop.

The decision was made to look for a buyer shortly after Janet, 64, suffered a stroke two years ago.

She is recovering but was struggling to cope with the business.

Janet and John Clark, who have retired from the Open All Hours Premier shop, Morecambe.

Janet and John Clark, who have retired from the Open All Hours Premier shop, Morecambe.

John had been working away from home during the week while Janet ran the store but after Janet’s illness he helped run the shop full-time.

John, 69, said: “I was coming up for retirement anyway and then Janet suffered the stroke.”

John is originally from the north east and moved over to Morecambe in 1982, meeting Janet a year later.

“We have had customers who came in as children who are now coming in and bringing their own children which is nice,” he said.

Janet and John when they first took over the shop.

Janet and John when they first took over the shop.

“We have seen a lot of changes.

“We have been really lucky with the staff too, they have all been very kind.”

John said the couple are looking forward to enjoying their retirement – although initially aren’t sure how to spend their new-found free time!

“We haven’t had time for any hobbies before,” he said. “It was 24/7 with the shop.

“We like going on holidays though so we’ll be doing that when we can.

“The customers have been very good to us and we hope they will give the same support to the new owners.”

Jeyanthini Sutha has now taken over the running of the shop, since the Clarks finished on May 23.

She has previously run a store in Blackpool with her husband.

“We wish her all the best for the future,” John added.