AN EASTLEIGH village shopkeeper is celebrating 21 years in business after moving up the ranks from paperboy to newsagent.

Graham Bristow, owner of Sandy News in Fair Oak, started his career as a 13-year-old paperboy at the same shop which he now runs along with his wife Sandra.

Mr Bristow, 55, bought the shop in 1993 and has marked his milestone with a special celebration. He is one of more than 2.500 independent franchisees of the Costcutter Group.

He said: “Eastleigh is my home and I want to see it succeed. Perhaps as a local shopkeeper I understand just how important it is to support independents.

“People know that the bigger shops do not always have the better prices, or the better customer service and many of our customers make a point of spending their hard-earned money with us rather than say a larger supermarket.

“We appreciate that and in turn support other independents whether we are out shopping in Eastleigh, Winchester or abroad. After all, the UK is a nation of shopkeepers and we really must support each other.”