After more than 34 years at their fabric store in East Preston husband and wife duo Ray and Jeanette Leggett are finally drawing the curtains.
The duo, who have run the R & J Leggett Soft Furnishings shop, in Willowhayne Crescent, since 1978, closed the store for the last time yesterday (Saturday, October 27).
But for the couple who have worked tirelessly to help serve customers in Sussex and across the globe, the many years working into the early hours of the morning have certainly been worth it.
Ray, who was the former chairman of the East Preston Festival Committee for five years, said: “It’s been a wonderful journey and something that I will certainly always cherish.
“To have been able to work alongside my wife for all these years has been a joy.”
He added that the secret to maintaining such a strong relationship with one another was the ability to keep work life and family life separate.
“We’ve never really had any arguments during our time here,” admitted Ray.
He said that the pair had met while Ray was doing contracted work with John Perrings upholstery company, in Worthing, in 1967.
The following year, a position as manager opened up at the store, which Ray took, becoming Jeanette’s boss.
The couple tied the knot on Christmas Eve, in 1968, at St Mary’s Church, in East Preston.
While working at their village store, the pair helped craft curtains for the former Northern Ireland football manager and Everton player Billy Bingham, who used to have a holiday home in East Preston.
Jeanette also holds her own claim to fame, having attended the same primary school as The Beatles icons, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who were a year ahead of her.
The couple have one daughter and one grandson and are looking forward to retirement.