Bromley’s much-loved comic book shop Time Trek shut at the end of last month, marking the end of an era for fans of graphic novels and practically reducing grown men to tears.
Owner and comic book enthusiast Robert Byron passed away in September of last year at the age of 62 after a battle with cancer.
His shop had been a fixture in Bromley High Street for over 20 years.
His sister Jackie Baxter, 57, told News Shopper that the shop provided some much-needed joy in her brother’s life.
She said: “He didn’t regard the shop as a business – it was more like a hobby.”
It was truly a family affair, with Mr Byron’s mother doing the bookkeeping until she died in 2014.
Mr Byron had had cancer ten years before and recovered, but when he found out he had relapsed in mid-2015, he deteriorated quickly, leaving the business in dire financial straits.
Time Trek owner Robert Byron before he his first battle with cancer
“Robert had about £250,000 worth of stock in Big Yellow Storage and they locked him out of the locker and it was auctioned off – someone bought it for something like 12 grand.
“It had all of his collection from when he was a child too.”
As she was clearing out the shop with her daughter she saw that she wasn’t the only one in mourning.
She said: “People used to come from all over the country and even abroad.
“I couldn’t believe the number of people who are knocking on the door and saying how upset they are [that the shop is closed].
“People were in there taking photos and grown men were almost in tears.”
Time Trek celebrated its 25th anniversary with a visit from the Tardis
A group of devastated schoolchildren even kindly offered to volunteer their parents' hard-earned cash to save the shop.
Ms Baxter said: "Bless their hearts, they said 'Oh my dad will pay' but it's more of a dream really."
The shop closed its door for the last time on February 29.
But it may come as some consolation to fans that much of the stock cleared out by Mr Byron’s sister and niece has been bought by David Limburg, a regular Time Trek customer, from his online shop SanteClaus.