A struggling DIY shop which has served Queensbury for decades has been “saved” after locals rallied round to offer their support.

After taking over The Handyman six years ago, Mark Walton saw his shop become more and more “quiet” as sales started to decline.

It has been in the village since the late 1960s but Mark had become increasingly worried that sales were dropping.

He would often be heard saying ‘We’ll just see how it goes’ and ‘see how it pans out’.

When a kind customer came in one day and asked about the business, Mark confided that people were choosing to shop in bigger chains than local, independent DIY shops. The short conversation inspired the customer to appeal for the community’s support on a Facebook group, Queensbury Village - The Official Group.

Another resident suggested they should create a page or website to boost their online presence which is when Jack Simpson, who runs a small business called Glassroots himself, stepped in.

‘My family have been going there for years, I’ll go have a chat with him and see what he’s up for,’ Jack posted.

Since his help, Mark has seen his sales double.

Mark told the Telegraph & Argus: “I can’t thank him enough.

“It’s doubled it. That’s how much it’s helped.

“It’s gone quieter in the last two years. It was going down and down. I was worried about it.

“Support the little businesses. It isn’t always cheaper to go to one of the big boys. Little shops, even if they don’t have it in, they can usually get it. Once these stores have gone they might never come back. We might never see these little shops again.

"These phone shops, greengrocers, butchers... once they're gone I don't think anybody will set them back up again.

"I like having a chat with customers. I talk to every customer. They're not just customers.

"It's been good. It's been nice having it.

"It's going to save the shop."

Jack, created a page called The Queensbury Handyman and took some photos.

“The shop’s been there a long time,” the 25-year-old said.

“It reinvests into the community.

"You get something much more for your money. You’re getting advice. You’re reinvesting in a system that’s going to benefit you.

“I live about two minutes walk from that shop."

Another local, Craig Hawes, got in touch with the store to teach Mark and his unofficial assistant Christine McKnight how to use social media and reply to messages.

“I was absolutely shocked anybody would help us putting messages up,” Christine said.

“I think if it hadn’t have been for this we’d have been closing down.

“It’s so kind of them.

"None of them want anything for doing it!

“It’s absolutely amazing.”

In a message to shoppers, Christine urged more people to support the high street and go to local shops where possible.

Craig, who runs Bees Knees IT at Prospect House and lives in nearby Clayton, said: "It's more important probably now to support your local businesses and shops.

"Times were tough before the Covid outbreak for shops and local businesses. I think a lot of businesses are going to struggle.

"It's just nice to help out local businesses. They've been established a lot of years. It's good for the community.

"It gives you a good feeling and it's nice to help the community out and give back."