Northern Ireland news

Clarke Bros Fruit & Veg closes after 47 years serving west Belfast

The Clarke brothers at their fruit and vegetables shop on its last day serving west Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

A FRUIT and vegetables shop run by three brothers closed its doors yesterday after almost five decades serving west Belfast.

Clarke Bros Fruit & Veg, situated along Springfield Road, opened for one last time in a final farewell to their loyal customers.

The shop has been a staple of the west Belfast community, serving the area fresh fruit and vegetables for more than 47 years.

Billy Clarke said he opened the shop with his brothers Charles and Gerard.

The 82-year-old said people have travelled from across the city to buy fruit and vegetables from the family-run store.

Closing the shop would be the "saddest day of my life", he added.

In a goodbye message placed in the shop, the Clarkes thanked their "valued and loyal customers for their support over the past 47 years of business".

They said it has been a "great pleasure providing a service to the community".

The Clarke brothers at their fruit and vegetables shop on its last day serving west Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

Ahead of the shutter being pulled down for a final time, Billy's daughter Andrea McAllister also expressed her sadness.

"It's with a heavy heart that I'm writing this. My wee daddy and his brothers' fruit shop Clarke Bros is closing due to retirement," she said.

She said the closure would be a "very sad day in our family as we say goodbye to a lifetime of memories and fun".

The Clarke brothers at their fruit and vegetables shop on its last day serving west Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

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