COLERAINE Pet Shop will close later this month after captivating countless children for more than half a century.
The Stone Row premises, which opened its doors in 1964 and specialised in parrots and tropical fish, attracted customers from all over the world who came to meet its most famous resident Paddy the macaw.
When Paddy passed away in November 2013, news of his death caused a social media storm with 38,103 Facebook hits. Heartbroken shop owner Norman McCracken even erected a memorial to the blue and gold winged macaw.
As animal lover Norman, who took over from Pat and John Hartin in 1993, prepares to shut up shop on October 26, he reminisced on changing shopping habits and how children no longer crave pets for company.
He said: “I've lost heart in the place because there's no demand for pets anymore; we haven't had animals here for almost a year because nobody wants them.
Full story inside this week's Coleraine Chronicle.