Norman Oldfield, the jeweller with “a heart of gold,” has died at the age of 82.
The owner of Hackler’s in Lune Street was the city centre’s longest-serving shopkeeper until he retired 15 months ago after 67 years in the business.
Florist Margaret Mason, who took over the title from her dear friend, said: “It’s so sad. Norman was such a genuine, caring person.
"It’s an old cliche, but he had a heart of gold, he really did.
“We worked a couple of doors apart in Friargate for many years and he used to come in here, sit down with a cup of tea and we used to put the world to right.”
Norman trained as a jeweller with Whittles in the city and then moved to Hackler’s in Friargate, a business he eventually bought out.
He moved his shop to Lune Street, near to its junction with Fishergate, around 20 years ago and was well-known both publicly and within the business community.
Brian Beck, who runs European Fine Arts and Antiques in Cannon Street, said: “Norman was old school. He was such a well-known Preston character.”
Norman’s daughter Alison said: “He certainly was old school. Lots of people used to pop into the shop for a coffee. It was like a gentlemen’s club.”
Norman had a passion for classic cars. In October 2017 he was the first driver on the new Broughton Bypass at the wheel of his E-Type Jaguar.
Norman's funeral will be at St George the Martyr Church, off Lune Street, on March 28 at 11.30am, followed by a private family service at Preston Crematorium.