A TREASURE trove of old photos, maps, postcards and books is shutting up shop after five years but will be continuing online.

Brighton and Hove Stuff, which is in Western Road, Hove, opened in 2013 when owner and archivist Andy Garth decided to sell items from his personal collection of Brighton and Hove memorabilia.

But the shop will be closing from Saturday, September 1, after Andy decided it is no longer worth keeping open because trading conditions are becoming increasingly tough.

He said: “Retail has changed.

However, I don’t feel so bad knowing that the likes of Marks and Spencer and Toys R Us are closing branches.

“A lot of people are interested in what I do.

“But when you are selling things for not a lot of money it simply doesn’t pay the bills.

“Stock just sits there, except when I manage to get something new or special.”

Andy recently acquired the letters from the Brighton Palace Pier, after they were removed to make way for its new sign, which he said unsurprisingly sold instantly because of the pier’s rich history.

“There is also an 1830 map of Brighton I sell a lot of copies of,” he said.

“I have a book of people that I can call who I know will be interested in buying different things, such as maps of a certain area or certain books.”

Andy’s stock includes Land Registry maps and charts, pictorial books, newspapers, original photographs, postcards, title deeds of properties, auction catalogues, property brochures, posters and prints.

There is an auction, held every two months at St Leonards Church Hall in Glebe Villas in Hove, where Andy also sells items from the archives. This will continue to take place.

He is also in the process of turning his website, brightonandhovestuff.co.uk, into an online shop which he hopes will prove to be successful.

Andy added: “Five years ago, I had a lot of stuff, so I rented out an empty shop and started up the business from scratch. It has been great fun and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I will absolutely miss it.

“It’s like a mini museum. I’ve always called it a poor man’s Keep.

“People would often come in and ask questions about their road or house, and we would always be very happy to help them with their enquiries. But your passion is always nicer if it makes you money.

“My landlords have been fantastic, they know that the retail industry is tough at the moment. I just need to organise the online shop and start sending things out to people instead.”