AFTER 108 years and three generations on the high street, one of the last remaining family shops in Bolton is taking a look back at its history before the last owners retire.

Green’s Furnishings in Westhoughton’s Market Street was founded in 1911 and passed down over three generations of a family of talented wood carvers. The workshop and retail space has outlasted two World Wars, financial crashes and the takeover of technology, having an important hand in local history.

Current owners David and Jean Green, both 70, are drawing a close to more than 100 years of history in just a matter of weeks, retiring after 41 years of hard work at the helm.

Ahead of the final sale, the couple took time to reflect on the shop’s history, which began with Mr Green’s grandfather, James Harry Green.

Mrs Green said: “It started in 1911. In those days when you wanted a dining set, you would come in and have one made for you.

From making beautiful cabinets to constructing family homes to make ends meet during the Great Depression, James handed down the business to his son, Harry Green.

During his career, Harry spent time contributing his woodworking skills to another important part of North West history. Harry helped build Lancaster Bombers during the Second World War.

Mr Green said: “During the war, my father was employed building Lancaster Bombers. He was one of the wood workers that fit the cockpits and fitted the emergency hatches. He used to reminisce that the pilots used to worry that they wold get stuck, so they would throw the hatches out into the sea when they went over the Channel. He was always being asked to fit another one!”

The family continued to contribute to the local area after the war with their incomparable woodworking skills, with Harry bringing his own son David into the fold.

Harry and David were commissioned to create lecterns, fonts and more for churches in the region. For years, the father and son team worked across their workshop bench from each other, constructing intricate pieces for churches in Preston, Wigan and Manchester.

The success of their designs made the mark of Green workmanship, a snail, something of a phenomenon in the region.

There are even treasure hunts for the snails in St James’ Church in Daisy Hill, which boasts a number of bespoke Green pieces.

Current owners David and wife Jean took over the shop in 1978 and have juggled the busy store with raising their daughter, Sarah.

Mr Green said: “I came to help my father and never left! It was a very nice life.”

The pair say they will be sad to leave their second home, but they happy to be leaving with good memories of their longstanding place in the town.

Mrs Green said: “I’ve enjoyed chatting with the customers. The people who come in have become friends. Older customers have known David since he was small.”

Mr Green says he has enjoyed making a living for all these years out of his creative passion. He said: “I personally have enjoyed doing the woodwork and creating an end product where I can think, “that will be there for a long time.”