For the past 20 years, 364 days a year, Peter and Helen Palmer have been running their newsagent’s.

But after two decades selling copies of newspapers, including the Journal, it’s time for them to read a bit about themselves.

The pair first bought the shop in Bulford Road, Durrington, in December 2000.

Though thinking about it makes them a bit sad, April 10 will be their last day at the shop as they have officially sold the business to a local family to enjoy their retirement.

“It’s been good, rewarding, we’ve enjoyed it,” said Peter, 56. “We loved serving the community, especially during the pandemic.”

Salisbury Journal: Peter and Helen PalmerPeter and Helen Palmer

He and his wife Helen, 58, moved to the area specifically to buy the shop, then called ANR News, and finally run their own business.

Prior to that, Peter had worked in newsagent’s in Trowbridge and Chippenham while Helen was a personnel manager at Tesco in Bristol.

“It’s the only thing I’ve done since I left school, I’ve been dealing with customers all my life,” said Peter. “I feel at home in the shop behind the counter.”

Due to the nature of the job, the pair have been working 364 days a year – only closing on Christmas Day – often from 5am to 6.30pm.

Now that they’re both approaching 60, and their children Jordan, 27, and Jade, 24, have grown up, it was time to have a rethink.

“We’re the hub of the community, people are sad to see us go but there comes a time when you want to put things into perspective, we want to do other things,” Peter said. He added: “The lease was up in 20 months time so it was about deciding, do we walk away or do we commit to another 11 years? Rather than working all the hours of the sun, perhaps it’s a good opportunity to receive some money for the shop and put it into something different.”

To help the new owners settle in, Peter and Helen will stick around in a low capacity if needed.

They will then catch up on missed holidays, visiting areas they love such as the Bahamas and other places in the Caribbean.

The pair would like to thank their customers, staff, friends and family for their support and kindness over the years.

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