THE owners of a much-loved village post office have retired after 40 years of serving customers.

David and Jane Scott have bid farewell to Bootle Post Office and shop - four decades after they first purchased the building.

The couple moved to Cumbria in 1980 from Sussex, and previously Aberdeen, alongside Mrs Scott's parents.

Within weeks of the move, the pair had to recruit more staff and went on to establish themselves as a well-respected hub of the community.

Mr Scott, who first moved to Bootle at 27, described his 40 years at the store as 'absolutely brilliant'.

"I'm going to miss nattering with the customers the most," he said.

"Because they're not just customers, they're friends who you grow very close to over the years.

"It's not the same as a supermarket where there's hardly any interaction with customers, we really build a bond with them.

"It's like catching up with old friends."

When the couple first moved to Bootle they decided they wanted to give back to the community so Mr Scott joined the fire service and Mrs Scott worked for Cumbria Police as a special constable.

Mr Scott said: "We always knew we wanted to give back to the community in some way.

"I worked as a firefighter in Bootle for 20 years and really enjoyed it."

Mr Scott recalled one occasion when his work in the village shop and fire service intertwined.

"I was serving a woman in the shop and my bleeper went off to tell me there had been a fire," he said.

"The woman said 'that better not be my house' and believe it or not, it was.

"Everyone was alright and we were able to save her Christmas tree and presents."

For their last day, a socially-distanced crowd bid farewell to the Scott's alongside the Copeland MP Trudy Harrison.

"I had a real lump in my front on Tuesday," Mr Scott said.

"It was a very emotional day - we were so overwhelmed to see all the people and we'd like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.

"It's been brilliant and we'll miss it a lot."

The shop has been bought by a couple from North London eager to continue the business' long-standing reputation.