Florist James looks forward to blooming retirement

PUBLISHED: 13:03 25 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:48 01 June 2010

James is set to enjoy his retirement

James is set to enjoy his retirement

AFTER 40 years in the business, there isn t much that James Houlden doesn t know about flowers.

And through the decades, he s sold a bloom or two - with his flower stall becoming a familiar feature of markets across East Anglia.

But Mr Houlden, from West

AFTER 40 years in the business, there isn't much that James Houlden doesn't know about flowers.

And through the decades, he's sold a bloom or two - with his flower stall becoming a familiar feature of markets across East Anglia.

But Mr Houlden, from West Walton, has decided finally to call it a day and has been busy saying goodbye at some of the markets he has attended.

In Swaffham it proved an emotional day for 62-year-old Mr Houlden, and a steady stream of shoppers stopped to wish him well in his retirement and to thank him for his service with a smile.

He said he had been largely involved in the "happiness trade", with customers buying flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and as tokens of thanks.

He also supplies flowers for sadder occasions such as funerals.

"I am going to miss the people here because Norfolk people are so friendly.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my customers, some of whom have been buying flowers from me for years, for their loyalty which has given me my living," said Mr Houlden.

Mr Houlden has sold his nursery business and the stalls at Fakenham and Swaffham markets.

Mr Houlden said he would be taking some time to "chill out" before undergoing heart surgery in November at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

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