End of an era as long-time community family-owned Banbury newsagents set to close

Banbury community newsagents set to close after three decades of serving the Easington community of town

Barry Lane stands outside his newsagents Lane's News, which is set to close in the Easington community of Banbury
Barry Lane stands outside his newsagents Lane's News, which is set to close in the Easington community of Banbury

For more than 30 years Barry Lane has started his day running a local community newsagents when his alarm goes off at five minutes past four in the morning.

Barry, the long-time owner of Lane's News, said: "My alarm goes off at five past four every morning, and I'm usually here (at the shop) by 5 when the papers arrive. I usually deliver a few papers myself before opening up at 6."

There are not many of those days left as Barry is set to close the local newsagents he has owned and operated for more than three decades in Banbury.

Barry Lane points out some the popular sweets inside his Banbury community newsagents, Lane's News, which set to close next week

Barry is closing his shop, Lane's News, in Horton View after more than 30 years of selling and delivering newspapers including the Banbury Guardian delivering to the Easington community and beyond.

This Saturday (December 18) will be the last day he sells and delivers newspapers, and he will put out the 'closed' sign on his business for the last time, one day late next week.

Barry opened his newsagents in September 1987, which was originally in Springfield Avenue. He moved to his current location in Horton View around 2010.

He will soon retire after he learned his landlord has recently sold the property his newsagents occupies.

Barry Lane stands underneath a Banbury Guardian sign outside his newsagents, Lane's News, in the Easington community of Banbury

Barry said: "There's really nowhere else to go. Realistically, I'll be 81 in April, so it's probably time I look at retiring."

It's the customers who have kept Barry going through the decades of running a small local business.

He said: "It's the people. Easington has been more like a village than part of a town. You get to know lots of people.

"It's the customers really. The thing is the customers stop being customers, and after a while they become your friends. It's a meeting with a friend each time they come in."

The local newsagents has been incredibly popular with local school children over the years with the sale of traditional sweets, which currently sell for 60p per 100 grams. Rainbow bites, fizzy bubble bottles and blue raspberry bonbons have proven to be some of the popular sweets to local children.

Barry added: "We do a lot of trade with the local school students. Where possible we've tried to get the vegetarian and vegan products where they don't have gelatine."

Debra Dumbleton, who serves as the post mistress at the Post Office across the street, recalls seeing students completely fill the car park before and after school outside Lane's News shop.

She said: "He will be greatly missed. He's a pillar of the community. It'll be very sad to see him go."

Elsie Allen, who also works at the Post Office, said: "It's very sad the shop is closing. Barry really deserves a rest now."

A regular customer of almost 20 years said: "I am sorry to see Lane's News closing, however I am very pleased Barry is retiring, and wish him many happy years to enjoy the simpler things in life with his family.

"A queue forms every afternoon by the schoolchildren to spend their pocket money. The local seniors enjoy a chat with Barry discussing many topics, politics local and national, rugby and much more.

"He will certainly be missed by everyone."

Barry has heard lots of positive feedback from people in the community after word got out that he was closing his shop and retiring. One customer even slipped him a retirement gift under the door of his shop.

He added, choking back a few tears: "People have been really really nice. The community has been very supportive."

Lane's News has a reputation in the community for its newspaper delivery service over the years. Lane's News has delivered all the national daily newspapers along with the local Banbury Guardian to people in the community for years.

Barry said: "We've got a good reputation for our service, but that's only because of the people who've worked for us over the years. The staff we've had have been outstanding.

"Historically, I used to go the Horton Hospital with newspapers and magazines to see if any patients wanted any

"You just look at the needs of the community and see if you can do anything proactive to help."

Retirement will take some getting used to Barry. But he hopes to spend some of his new free time with his family, including daughter and granddaughter who live in Banbury, along with his son in Birmingham.

He said: "It's going to be very strange, basically seeing no one in a day from seeing a couple of hundred people in a day."