One of Hartlepool's oldest shopkeepers, 81, enters his final year in business

A veteran Hartlepool shopkeeper is entering what is due to be his final year in business as he nears the age of 82.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:45 am

Jimmy Gettings, who has La Mirage picture framing shop in Alma Street, has just celebrated his 30th year in business.

He has built up a regular customer base and framed treasured items for a host of celebrities.

But this year is due to be his last as he will be 82 in a few months time.

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Jimmy Gettings inside his Alma Street picture framing workshop. Picture by Frank Reid

Jimmy said: “When I came to retire in 2005 I thought ‘keep going’. I just liked the job.

"I have been going 30 years now and still get a lot of work in.

"There’s still things I want to do, places I would like to go. I’m thinking I will carry on probably until August when I first started the business.”

Jimmy first opened La Mirage in Elwick Road and has also been in the town centre before moving around a number of premises in the Murray Street area.

Jimmy with late Pools player Tony Parry.

But on doctors advice he has cut down on his hours in the shop to three a day between 10am and 1pm.

Jimmy, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019, has framed all sorts of personal items for customers in addition to the normal pictures, photographs and newspaper cuttings.

He once framed a miniskirt worn by a Coronation Street actress and several pieces of memorabilia for police officers including those from TV’s Police Interceptors.

Jimmy gets a visit from actor Bruce Jones.

Jimmy added: “I once did a full army uniform. The only thing missing was the bloke who it belonged to.”

Sports kits are a popular request including football and rugby shirts and boxing gloves.

In the 90s Jimmy framed a boxer’s dressing gown for London gangland figure “Mad” Frankie Fraser.

Gloves and letters signed by the notorious Kray twins have also passed through his hands.

Local sporting celebrities to have taken advantage of Jimmy’s skills include ex Hartlepool United players Joe Allon and Tony Parry.

Ex-Coronation Street soap star Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby, has also visited the shop.

Jimmy added: “I will miss the people who come in. We always have a good laugh.”

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