FRIENDS and family have paid tribute to a local businessman who ran an Aldershot sewing shop for more than 40 years.

Peter Attfield, 68, of Cranmore Gardens, died on the Sunday before Christmas.

A service was held at Aldershot Crematorium last Tuesday.

Mr Attfield opened his sewing machine shop in Elms Road in 1957, quickly building a reputation for his high standard of service.

He learnt his trade as an apprentice, working alongside Cyril Chapman in Aldershot.

Remembering his former colleague, Mr Chapman said: “Peter was my first apprentice. He was about 14 and I taught him about the sewing machine trade.

“He was a nice and genuine chap. He would never say a bad word about anyone.”

He married June in 1956 and they had three children, Janet, Brian and Keith and six grandchildren.

“People used to come from miles around to the shop,” said Mrs Attfield. “He went on to have two other shops in the area. The business was his life.”

The shop made the headlines in 1971 when Mr Attfield was besieged by Ghanaian troops. The News reported that the troops bought 25 hand operated machines to take home for their wives.

Away from the business, he was an aeroplane enthusiast and for his 60th birthday his children bought him a dream flight on Concorde.

Son Keith said: “We took him to Heathrow and when we handed him the tickets he started to cry. It was such a surprise. We flew to Glasgow with him — it was an amazing day.”