AN established gun shop in Ringwood is closing in what has been described as ‘the end of an era’.

Lamberts of Ringwood in the Market Place is set to close its doors at the end of April.

The shop has been trading as a gunsmith for more than 100 years, and has been in the hands of current owner Malcolm Lambert since the 1990s.

Now, 78-year-old Malcolm has decided to retire, putting an end to service at the traditional country shop.

Malcolm said: “It’s sad. It’s something I’m not looking forward to doing.

“I’ll miss the whole atmosphere, and the customers coming in to see us.”

Bournemouth Echo: Lamberts of RingwoodLamberts of Ringwood (Image: NQ)

Before being known as Lamberts, the gun shop was R.Balanton Gunsmiths from 1916 to the 1960s, and then Greenfield’s.

When Malcolm bought the shop in the 1990s, he rebuilt its interior and called it Lambert and Wiltshire after his best friend Tony Wiltshire.

Tony passed away in 2011.

Malcolm has run the shop as Lamberts of Ringwood ever since, with support from long-standing staff members Linda, Hayley and Ben.

Linda said: “It’s a lovely place to work - there’s a lovely atmosphere.

“Malcom is the best boss, and he’s a friend. We’ve known each other for nearly 30 years because our children went to school together.

“A lot of places you work, the management may frown upon you chatting to customers, but Malcolm encourages it, it’s all part of why people come in here.”

Bournemouth Echo: Malcolm with Linda, Hayley and BenMalcolm with Linda, Hayley and Ben (Image: NQ)

Linda said: “We’ve had so many comments on Facebook from people saying it’s such a shame and that it’s the end of an era.

"People are genuinely sad and sorry to see us go.

“There's a lot of the old school, farmer types will be very upset - they come in here as they don’t go online and buy stuff.”

Lamberts of Ringwood’s gunsmith Ben has plans to set up a new venture with guns, and its not complete retirement for Malcolm, who wants to focus on property development.

The shop will have its last day of trade on Tuesday, April 30.

A closing down sale is currently taking place.