The building in Bear Street, Barnstaple is on the market for the first time in 75 years.

Henry and Molly Luxton in their shop.Henry and Molly Luxton in their shop.

A PIECE of Barnstaple's history is going under the hammer next month as a former Bear Street greengrocers goes on the market for the first time in 75 years.

The former H Luxton shop at 38 Bear Street was the pride and joy of its owners, the late Henry and Molly Luxton.

But after Henry passed away in February aged 87, his nieces Susan Peters and Dorothy Spry have had to put the property up for auction.

Mr and Mrs Luxton took over the shop, which was opened in 1937, from Henry's father, also called Henry.

38 Bear Street will go under the hammer next month.38 Bear Street will go under the hammer next month.

Henry used to help his father behind the counter and grew up with greengrocers becoming his livelihood.

In 1964, after Henry Snr passed away, Henry and Molly bought the shop, which was previously rented, and put their all into it.

"They got married later that year but they had to do it on a Wednesday afternoon," explained Dorothy.

"He wouldn't let them shut the shop on a Saturday because it was their busiest time.

Henry Luxton (right) and his father, Henry Luxton, in the shop.Henry Luxton (right) and his father, Henry Luxton, in the shop.

"They always missed all the family weddings; they put their all into that shop."

Henry and Molly were a popular couple during the four decades they ran the business, and Susan said her uncle couldn't walk down the street without being stopped.

"At that time you didn't need to go much past Bear Street to get what you needed," she said.

"It had everything; a butchers, greengrocers - it was a lot different to how it looks now.

"When I used to go and help in the shop he would disappear off to get something and be gone for hours because he'd been stopped by so many people."

In 2000, Molly and Harry retired, aged 80 and 74 respectively, and the following year Molly passed away.

Henry continued to live in the five-bedroom property until he died in February. The couple, who had no children, left the property with their nieces.

The house, which is listed with estate agents Webbers, will go up for auction on August 2.