The old saying goes ‘as one door closes, another one opens’. This is often the case, but one can’t help but feel a little sad and nostalgic when such meaningful doors close. Peter Hawkins, of Hawkins of Hitchin, has now retired, and sadly the shop has now shut its doors for the final time.

After 28 years of working alongside the team there I wish Peter all the best in his retirement (if you’re reading Peter, put your feet up and enjoy a tipple or two!). During my time there everyone has always been most kind and considerate, and I really will miss everyone I’ve worked with over the past (almost!) three decades.

Peter’s retirement has led me to reminisce about how much our town centres are changing. It’s not just Hitchin that’s in the firing line, many towns and cities – including my main stomping ground, Gloucester – have seen dramatic changes over the years. I do worry that modern developments, such as out of town shopping centres, will turn our towns into nothing but a plethora of coffee and charity shops, so come on Britain let’s support and save our High Streets!

Also, a quick message for you Hitchin habitants – Hawkins may be shut but you won’t get rid of me that easily!

The image above is a throwback to 2013 when I was enjoying the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Hawkins of Hitchin.