IT IS the end of an era for a popular Walney newsagent after bosses announced it will be closing its doors at the end of this month.

Early News on Liverpool Street has served the island for 70 years but will be shutting up shop on June 25. Paper deliveries will stop on June 18.

Caroline and Stuart Benson, who have been owners of the shop for just under seven and a half years, said the decision to close the shop due to Stuart being diagnosed with prostate cancer did not come lightly - but health comes first.

The Mail: TRADING: Caroline and Stuart have operated Early News for seven and a half years TRADING: Caroline and Stuart have operated Early News for seven and a half years

Caroline, 42 said: “It’s very sad - the end of an era for us really.

“It has been amazing. The people we’ve met have been really nice and the staff we have had over the years, especially our two longest serving, are like family. It has been lovely.

“The tough decision came when Stuart was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year so he’s been for his treatment and we decided he wasn’t fit enough physically to do the job we do which is very demanding we decided to try and sell the business.

“I made a Facebook video last October and we got someone interested straight away and went through to buying it. We were at the solicitors from January and it fell through the Jubilee Weekend and they pulled out last minute.”

Caroline and Stuart decided to take on the business when they decided their previous role as steward and stewardess of the Green Gate Club was getting a bit much.

Caroline said: “We have had so many nice times; the customers are friends. The amount of time I have had customers crying on me saying they are sad to see us go is a lot - it’s very emotional.

The Mail: SHOP: Newsagent located on Liverpool Street, WalneySHOP: Newsagent located on Liverpool Street, Walney

“I’m so pleased that every customer has said that Stuart’s health is worth more than the shop staying - that bit really touched us.

"They aren’t bothered about the business, even though it is a blow and there is a lot of services that we provide that aren’t going to be on the island anymore, but each and everyone has said Stuart is worth more than that.

“I would just like to say a massive thank you to every customer for keeping us going to this point but more than anything a big thank you to out main two members of staff Theresa Jeffries and Susan Quayle for all their hard work.”

Walney resident Paddy McAteer said he would miss the newsagent that has been there all his life and is concerned for the older residents on the island that no longer have the delivery service.

He said: “It is a great shame and it is going to be a big loss to Walney.

“I worry about the elderly who look forward to getting the paper delivered who can’t go to the supermarket and now that facility is lost.

“They are a great couple who have been very helpful over the years and I wish them the best.”