Well known Barnstaple footwear and work wear shop Gover’s will shut its doors for the last time at the end of February

After selling wellies and boots to generations of local people, a familiar sight will disappear from Barnstaple town centre in the new year with the closure of Gover’s after almost eight decades.

Owners Mike and Jackie Gover are retiring and have sold the freehold for their Joy Street premises.

A closing down sale at the footwear and work wear shop begins in January and the shop will shut at the end of February, bringing to an end a history of 79 years in the town.

Gover’s was opened in 1937 by Bill Gover, Mike’s father, and when he was called up during the Second World War, Mike’s nan ran the shop to ensure it stayed open.

Mike himself took on the business 38 years ago when his father retired and today it is still a family affair, with his sisters Linda and Liz also helping to run it.

The shop never strayed far from its footwear and workwear roots, though over the years it has also sold army surplus items and today also stocks school uniforms.

Mike said 79 years was a long time and he had mixed emotions about closing: “A big thank you to our loyal customers who have made it possible, without their support we would not have been able to carry on.

“We put it on the market in 2013 but it’s taken us a while longer to sell it than we had hoped for.”

The property has been bought by a developer, but it is not known what it will be used for.