His flags have been a fixture in Spalding for 40 years but motor parts trader Gordon Drake is finally lowering them on his retirement.
Gordon (69) is changing gear for the last time after deciding to close his Motorcare shop in Winsover Road and take the flags that have drawn customers inside for decades with him.
Family and friends gave Gordon an emotional send-off on Friday and he said: “I’ll be 70 next year so I think it’s time for me to sail into the sunset where I’m going to do as little as possible.
“I’ve enjoyed Spalding to the fullest and I’m very grateful to all the customers who have kept me from the dole queue for all these years.”
Gordon first opened the shop in 1974 when he decided to “branch out” after working as an engineer for the old General Post Office.
He said: “Motorcare was an empty shop when I came to Spalding 40 years ago, but I liked the look of the town and thought that this would be an ideal place to open up a motor parts business.
“It proved to be a right decision and the customers I’ve had have become my friends.”
Fellow traders and customers said their goodbyes to Gordon during a surprise retirement buffet at Motorcare organised by his wife Christine (67) and daughters Julia (38) and Helen (40).
Helen said: “Me and my sister both worked here occasionally when we were kids, so it was nice to see so many people appreciating what my dad has done for the community for so many years.”
Russ Harman, director of Event Developments in Winsover Road, said: “Everybody knows Gordon and I put the success of his business down to his fantastic personality and great customer service.
“He’s been a fantastic neighbour and I think Motorcare is another jewel that Spalding has lost.”