A much-loved staple of Surbiton’s high street is closing after 39 years.

Vincents, on Brighton Road, was opened by the Patel family in 1979. They have recently taken the tough decision to close the newsagent due to ongoing health problems.

Pradip Patel and wife Gita, who also live in Surbiton, formally closed their doors on December 29, 2018.

In their 39 years, they have seen many customers come and go, many developments and changes to the high street and raised two generations whilst running the business.

Surrey Comet:

Pradip Patel, the owner, closing the shutters for the final time on Vincents.

Mr Patel has managed the shop with his mother Sulochena, 87, father Jash, 90, wife Gita, 60, and their children, Vipula, 36, and Kalpen, 37.

They chose Surbiton as it is a lovely area and neighbourhood, but above all, it seemed like a promising place to own a business.

Pradip said: “I will miss my customers and I think they will miss me too - they came to say goodbye on the last day and there was a lot of sadness with some tears.

“I think that will be the hardest thing and what I will miss the most, having the constant interaction with the community.

“But it will be nice to spend more time with my grandson and I also have a responsibility to take care of my father.

“It was a difficult decision to close the shop until the last day. It's sort of a relief but also sad.

“I will always remember how much our friends and family have helped us over the years, especially when I lost my eyesight and could no longer drive. I am just thankful for all their help. “

Surrey Comet:

Pradip Patel, the owner, closing the shutters for the final time on Vincents.

Gita echoed her husband’s feelings, she said: “I liked the shop, it kept me busy but it's also nice that it’s closed so I can relax a bit more.

“I loved working there, I could stay there all day, talking and laughing with customers, I think the interaction with the customers is what we will all miss the most.

“But it was the right time to close it - we have a grandson now but also various health problems with Pradip, myself and our elderly parents.

“It will be a lot more peaceful, not having to get up and think about the shop or going to the cash and carry.”

Their daughter Vipula grew up with the shop and still lives next door, she said that while it’s sad that it’s closing, it’s a good thing.

Vipula said: “It was a big part of our lives growing up and now, we will miss it. I still remember doing the paper rounds when I was 16.

“Above all, we will miss the customers and the day-to-day interaction with them. But it’s the right time for us as a family. My parents will get their well-deserved retirement.”