All’s wool that ends well – a Whitehaven knitting shop is closing after nearly 35 years as the owner is putting down her needles.

The Knitting and Sewing Centre, on Duke Street, goes up for auction on April 13, bringing to an end over three decades of service.

Owner Gwyneth Savage, 59, is reluctantly stepping down due to ill health but will take many happy memories with her.

“When you start you never think you’ll have to finish,” she said. “The business is 12 months younger than my youngest child and it’s like a third baby. It’s such a wrench to finish.

“I see people who have never done anything coming in with their first item and I guide them, it’s nice. I’ve got people who used to come in and now they’re bringing their kids in.”

She added: “I’d happily throw the paperwork out of the window but I still enjoy running the shop. You natter with people.

“We’re a little shop that talks to its customers. I think people will miss us more for the natter.”

Mrs Savage, who lives in Whitehaven and has two children Helen and Richard, has battled with cancer in recent years and now wants to enjoy her retirement.

She has raised thousands of pounds for the Henderson Suite at West Cumberland Hospital, and Workington’s Theatre Royal, through numerous charity walks – and a skydive – but now she’s looking to travel further afield with husband Mike.

“There’s life after cancer, and there is more to life than working,” she said. “I’ve got a new camper van and I want to get on one of those ferries you see in films where they only take two vehicles and think ‘where is this ferry going to today?’”

Her fundraising, which she estimates has reached about £15,000, has seen her walk sections of Land’s End to John O’Groats over five years, complete the Coast to Coast and walk alongside Hadrian’s Wall.

The knitting career started when Mrs Savage worked for a number of shops in Whitehaven.

When a knitting shop in Workington closed down, she set up her own business to avoid travelling to Newcastle to buy equipment, originally working with her mother.

Before the business finally shuts its doors, there is a closing down sale to sell off the current stock.