He’s been a familiar face to Welshpool shoppers for nearly 20 years, but now popular shop keeper Simon Jenks is calling it a day.

Originally from Shrewsbury, Mr Jenks set up his decorating supplies shop, Tints and Tones, in Puzzle Square on December 1, 1998, after 40 years working as a sales representative for national firm ICI.

But after nearly two decades mixing and selling paints for the people of Welshpool, he’s decided to close his doors for the final time

“I’d been coming to Welshpool for many years when I worked with ICI, and I’ve always loved it here. Eventually it got to a point when I decided to start my own shop.

“Over the past few years and particularly over the past 12 months there’s been a noticeable drop in footfall in Puzzle Square and as the business has been on a steady decline I decided to call it a day.

“I think it’s a symptom of the way people shop these days, fewer and fewer people are using the High Street shops as they used to.”

Simon Ebrey, owner and manager of the Monkey Puzzle Cafe, Tints and Tones’ next door neighbour in Puzzle Square, said Mr Jenks had made a fantastic contribution to Welshpool’s High Street as one of the ‘last of a dying breed’ of specialist retailers in the town centre.

“He’s been a great friend to have just round the corner and there’s no doubt he’ll be missed on a day to day basis.

“Obviously he’s been there for the best part of 20 years and there aren’t many independent shops that stick around for that long these days.

“I’m sorry to see him go but I look forward to him popping in to the cafe for a cup of tea every now and again,” he said.

Despite ending his tenure behind the counter, keen military historian Simon says he does not plan to start taking it too easy, with a number of projects on the go for the former regular from the 17th 21st Lancers.

But above all he wanted to thank the people of Welshpool for their ‘wonderful support’ over the years.

“I’d like to thank all my customers and friends for their wonderful support over the years. I’ve met so many customers who’ve become firm friends over the years and I really appreciated all your support – God bless you all,” he added.