A shop-keeping couple are pulling down the shutters on their business after 42 years.

Dot and Steve Craven have taken just one family holiday since taking over the store in Northallerton in 1981, and only close on Christmas Days.

The couple moved from Leeds with then-one-year-old daughter Gemma back 42 years ago when they opened the shop on Valley Road.

Now the Dot, 71, and Steve 79, are finally pulling down the shutters and beginning retired life.

Their shop, Cravens, will close today (Wednesday, November 29).

The Northern Echo: Steve and Dot Craven at their shop.Steve and Dot Craven at their shop. (Image: FAMILY)

Eldest daughter Gemma Hickman told The Northern Echo: “They’ve been working seven days a week for 42 years and they’ve only ever had one holiday.

“The shop only closes on Christmas Day – it’s a massive part of their lives.

The Northern Echo: Steve and Dot Craven.Steve and Dot Craven. (Image: FAMILY)

“I think they’ll find it hard to let go but they’ve realised they can’t carry on as Dad’s just had his knee replaced.

“They don’t have any days off and used to be open 12 hours a day.

The Northern Echo: Steve Craven outside his store.Steve Craven outside his store. (Image: FAMILY)

“My mam still does the paper round with the paperboys.

“Especially during Covid we used to tell them to be careful but they have always been so dedicated to the shop and their customers.

“There are generations of people who’ve come to the shop. They’ll miss my dad’s humour and my mum’s really supportive.

“Kids who used to come to the shop for sweets or shopping lists off their parents now come in with their own children.”

All three of Dot and Steve’s children, Gemma and younger siblings Jonny and Amy, have worked in the shop through the years.

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“I used to help weigh out the potatoes when I was younger, then we were all behind the counter serving as soon as we were old enough,” Gemma added.

The shop has remained largely the same since 1981 with the same flooring and original shelves from when it opened.

Cravens has been sold on to new owners who will take over once Dot and Steve move out.