Doncaster institution shuts its doors after 60 years in the same family

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A Doncaster institution will close its doors for good this afternoon, and customers have flooded in to say their final, fond goodbyes.

It's been an emotional day for Simon and Lynne Beevers as their store, L and JM Beevers and Sons, sold its final newspaper.

Lynne and Simon Beever owned the shop in its final days

Lynne and Simon Beever owned the shop in its final days

The Beevers are the third generation to own the Church Street business.

Simon's grandparents, Jack and Flo Orpe, bought it in 1957. Jack began work there in 1955.

Simon's parents, Len and Joan, bought Orpe's in 1977, and changed the name of the business.

Simon and Lynne took over in 1998, and the fall in newspaper sales in the years after - and competition from stationery stores and supermarkets - have hurt the business.

"The newspaper industry is not like it was," Simon said.

"People are not reading papers like they used to.

"We used to deliver 1,000 newspapers a day. It's down to 200 now."

The 60th anniversary of the business went by in May, and Simon said they couldn't afford to celebrate, such was the dire circumstances.

"We had celebrated the 50th," he said.

The business is all the Doncaster man has ever known. He began work behind the counter 1983, but his memories go back even further.

Simon remembered the interior wall being knocked from the adjoining cottage in the mid 1970s, making for one large shop.

Len and Joan, who were still company directors until its insolvency, visited the shop today to reminisce over a drink.

Plenty of customers also came in.

They posed with Simon and Lynne out the front of the store.

"We've had a lot of customers in to say tara and good luck," Simon said.

Simon paid tribute to his loyal customer base, who have started a fundraising appeal to ensure the couple have a nest egg to get them to their next careers.

"I want to say a massive thank you to my fantastic customers," Simon said.

"And the fantastic paper lads I've had over the years, and the fantastic members of staff.

"But mostly the customers. They have been brilliant over the years."

He said he was 'very emotional' when news of the fundraiser reached him.

The job offers have been flooding in for Lynne since news of the shop's insolvency went public, but Simon said she was unsure what she would do.

He has passed his class C driving course, and will take up lorry driving.