An East Hampshire village is about to lose an important part of its furniture as closing-down signs have appeared in the window of a long-running shop.

Les and Katharyn Cann have been blown away by messages of support after confirming that Cobwebs in Liss is closing at the end of the month.

The furniture shop and house clearance firm has been an ever-present fixture in the village centre since the couple opened the doors of the Station Road business in August 1997.

But they decided against a long-term lease so they’re having a clear-out of their own before the door shuts on more than 25 years in the village.

“A lot of people have said we’re part of the furniture in the village and we’re still getting our heads around that and all the support people have given us,” said Mrs Cann.

“We would really like to say thank you to all the villagers for putting up with us for 25½ years and we’re sorry that we’re going.

“We’ve enjoyed our time and but we’re still going to do house clearances so we’ll still be out and about and if anyone sees us then we’d love them to give us a shout.”

The story of Cobwebs began after Mr Cann tried to find “something to do” after losing his army job in Bordon.

He expressed an interest in house clearance and the pair knew the owners of the unit when it became available in the late 1990s.

The unit recently had a change of landlord but the lease offered was too long, with the pair deciding it was time to move on.

Changing retail habits and the decline of the village centre were also factors, with the shopping area becoming noticeably quieter over time.

Mrs Cann added: “We open only in the mornings now because there’s no footfall any more in the afternoon.

“I think people just get into their car and drive elsewhere these days. Covid didn’t help, as I don’t think we’ve really recovered from that.”

Their departure will leave another empty unit in Liss village centre but there are plans to reinvigorate the area.

Residents can learn more on March 22 as there will be presentation about the Village Centre Improvement Project during the annual parish meeting.