“She was very, very strong willed”: beloved newsagent Kathleen Crisp, dies aged 89

Kathryn Wood (left) said her mother, Kathleen Crisp (middle) was “very busy” and had a natural busi

Kathryn Wood (left) said her mother, Kathleen Crisp (middle) was “very busy” and had a natural business mind. Pictured with a Sun sales representative at their store on Blyburgate. Picture: Contributed by the Crisp family - Credit: Archant

Kathleen Crisp, who was known in the community as the “smiling face” at Crisp Newsagents in Beccles has passed away, aged 89.

The businesswoman and mother moved to the town from Luton with her husband and six children; Stephen, Kathryn, Mark, Martin, Lorraine and Diane.

Mrs Crisp and her husband, Lesley Crisp, had the business for 19 years and lived on top of the store with their children until they moved to Puddingmoor in Beccles.

She dedicated seven days a week to the business running smoothly, only closing their doors one afternoon a week.

Mrs Crisp, who was known as a “friendly” and a “very happy lady”, fell in love the Beccles community and the lifestyle on offer.

Her daughter, Kathryn Wood, said her mother was “very busy” and had a natural business mind.

“She would get to the store before six, before the paper boys would get there and she would be there until late in the evening.

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“She would come home and make us dinner and then go back to finish off paperwork,” Mrs Wood added, “She was very, very strong willed and a person who was always on the go.”

Mrs Wood, who now lives in Norwich, worked in the store alongside her mother for 10 years.

“She loved Beccles and I had a lovely time with her in the shop - I loved working with her”

“She got along with everyone and really enjoyed being in the shop and Beccles is such a lovely town,” Mrs Wood said.

Mrs Crisp closed the store and retired in 1987, later moving to Barnby and then to Carlton Hall, a care home in Carlton Colville near Lowestoft.

According to her daughter, Mrs Crisp was “riddled with arthritis, but her memory was fantastic” and up until her death would remember her former customers.

“We would like to thank all the staff at Carlton Hall who were there, she really came out of her shell while she was there,” she said.

A funeral service for Kathleen Crisp will be held at St Michael’s Church, in Beccles on Monday, February 4.