A BASINGSTOKE-based independent hardware shop is set to close after more than 57 years of serving the public.

Lincoln’s, based in Buckland Parade, will close at the end of the month, as the current owners prepare for retirement.

The current proprietors, Siraj and Tahera Meherali have been looking after the shop for the past 36 years, providing a hub for the local community to pick up an array of items.

Siraj said: “Lots of our customers have been coming here for years, and they just drop by for a chat. They are like part of the family now.

“We worry about what will happen to some of them when this resource closes.”

The shop is well-known, and not just in the Basingstoke area, as some customers travel from miles around to get a particular item, with one of the most travelled customers coming from Northampton.

As well as that, there are a few celebrity customers who have dropped in over the years, but Siraj’s lips are sealed as to who they are.

The shop has seen its fair share of drama, as on one occasion, Siraj fought off a gunman who was attempting to hold up the shop.

There was also a moment of Yuletide spirit after the couple opened the shop early one Christmas morning for a family whose turkey was too big for the tin they had.

The shop will be looking to sell off the remaining stock over the course of the month before closing in the last week.

Siraj said: “When we bought this shop in 1982, Basingstoke was a very different place.

“We will be hoping to stay part of the community here, but taking a slower pace of life in our retirement.”