After selling fishing tackle, bait, and model toys for 38 years, Alan Mountain says he’s finally going to get round to some fishing himself.
He and business partner Pete Collins finally closed the doors of Castaline on Sunday after 38 years.
But Alan signs off with a blast at East Lindsey District Council for the closure.
“I’m fed up with working on a headwind against the council. Towns need shops, shops need shoppers and shoppers need free parking. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
“They have put the charges up and they go up year by year. I’m 62 and I’m pissed off with it. All the council is bothered about is revenue from the car parks and it’s driving people away. If you talk to the council about it, they just don’t want to know.”
Alan also blames the internet for taking sales from fishing tackle shops and the fishing industry not been what it used to be.
“My customer base is dying off. No children are joining the sport. I ask competition organisers how old their youngest competitor is and they say thirties or forties. There are no teenagers. It’s tragic,” he said.
But Alan admits having seven heart attacks in January also “drove him over the edge” even though the council is the “biggest culprit in town” with traffic wardens “issuing tickets left, right and centre” and one even getting him as he unloaded outside the shop in Upgate.
“I’m going to retire and take up fishing. I haven’t fished for 20 years,” he said.
He also plans to spend more time with his wife and 10-week-old grandchild.
Now, the shop is on the market at £250,000.
“It’s a big property. I’m sure it can be converted into flats.”
But Alan says he won’t go through the planning process himself as at 62, “I don’t want any more aggravation in life.”
Looking at his working life, which ended at the weekend with the store having a half price sale, Alan says he has made many good friends in the business.
“A lot of wholesale customers, I count as friends. Many have called on me to join them for coffee.”
As for business partner Peter, he has found a job with a cleaning business.
The customers though, will have to cast their nets further afield.
“It’s the end of an era,” said Steve Marwood of Louth: “Where will anybody go and get their pint of maggots?”