A POPULAR shopkeeper has taken a well earned break after working for more than 22 years without a holiday.

Colin Foxwell has served customers at Foxwell's Newsagents in Woodford Green High Road seven days a week without a rest since 1987.

The single 41-year-old, who has only ever taken Christmas day off work, said he is looking forward to relaxing for a few weeks after handing over the family business to new owner Kiran Patel.

He said: "I used to spend most of my life in the shop from early morning until the evening so it was pretty tiring sometimes.

"I've got so many happy memories from working here, but it takes its toll, and my health has suffered a bit as a result.

"My mum used to help me in the shop but she died three years ago so dad and I thought it was time for a change."

Mr Foxwell, whose 76-year-old father Stanley recently handed over the family's other newsagents in Highams Park after running it without a holiday since 1986, said he will miss the banter with his customers.

He said: "I've seen several generations of schoolchildren from the same families coming in and out of here, and have made lots of great friends over the years.

"The area has changed, but it there is still a great community here.

"I hope to run another shop in the future, but probably a smaller village one that's not so busy."

Hiral Patel, 23, has been helping his father set up the store during the past couple of weeks.

He said: "Colin and Stanley have run a fantastic business here for many years, and we aim to continue their good work.

"Woodford Green is a great place to run a business like this and we are looking forward to getting to know our customers as well as the Foxwells did."