AN OSWESTRY corner shop owner is celebrating after reaching 50 years of service.

Tina Evans, who owns the store on the junction of York Street and Alexandra Road, will have been at the premises for five decades on Friday after moving there with her mum in 1969.

And she admitted she was delighted to have been at the shop for so long at a time when supermarkets are eating up all the business.

“My mum bought the shop on August 9, 1969 and it’s been in the family ever since,” she said.

“I first started helping mum after school, I guess, and then sometimes on a Saturday, and then when I left school in around 1979 I was here helping mum.

“A few years later, my mum became diabetic and I wanted to go to Shrewsbury Art College which I got into. But I decided that since my mum had been so ill after becoming diabetic, I ought to stay. I’ve helped here ever since. For 99.9 per cent of the time, I have absolutely loved every minute of it. But it’s like every job, you have good and bad times over it.

“But I’ve met some lovely people and it’s great. It’s a bit clichéd but they’re like my family now. Everyone looks out for each other, and it’s a lovely feeling.

“It very much has an ‘old school’ feeling to it.”

Tina, 57, admitted that while she loves her customers and is thankful for their support, she acknowledges they will not always be able to use their corner shop as they seek to keep their own costs down.

And she also moved quickly to allay any fears that she will be moving on, insisting she will be at the store for years to come and is looking forward to serving the children of current customers in the coming years.

She added: “Over the five decades, the biggest change for me has been the people for me.

“While they are still very lovely, things change and they’re probably not so loyal because they will go to where they can get the best price, which is sensible.

“But we have plenty to offer.

“You have to make people welcome and that’s the most important thing - to make them feel good so they will want to come back.

“I know almost everyone – this store has a place and we’re lucky in that Ashwood Nursing Home is just behind us. That’s wonderful as they all want our help.

“We play a role in helping older people in maintaining traditions and it’s important to do so.

“The hardest thing I will do when I retire is leaving all this because I’ve been here since I was seven.

“I will miss it and everybody, but I’ve got no plans to retire just yet.”