A SCARBOROUGH businessman known affectionately as “Mr Martina” has died at the age of 87.
Geoff Hulse, who moved to Scarborough in the 1950s, set up an empire of clothing stores, starting out in a rented shop in Huntriss Row.
From there he began to realise his dream of designing, making and selling ladies’ clothing, with great success in selling to the public and wholesale to other retail stores.
Mr Hulse opened Martina, Miss Martina, Martius, Martina International and The Beach Boutiques at the Spa, in North Bay and Eastborough in a steady expansion.
A Martina store with holiday flats above and a Beach Boutique down by the harbour were also opened in Bridlington and a Martina store in Hull was the finishing touch to his business success.
Born in 1923, Mr Hulse met his future wife Peggy at the age of 14 as they both lived in the same street - Carr Lane in Thorner, Leeds.
He went to work and study under an Austrian designer and in his final exams won the Gold medal, coming first in the whole of the UK.
The war years intervened and Mr Hulse joined the RAF and was stationed in India working as an engineer on the instrumentation of the flight deck of the Catalina flying boat planes.
In July 1947 he married his love of many years and the couple had two sons, Barry and Roy.
Paying tribute, Roy said: “He was revered most of all for who he was as a person, his attributes being his modesty, sincerity, humour, trust, politeness, manners, wit, chivalry, determination and honesty.
“All of these qualities made him the gentleman that we all knew, admired and loved.
“He passed away on August 24 and he has now started his journey to be with his one and only love, Peggy.
“But he has company on his travels, as his dear friend Arthur Butterworth died on the very same day.”
Mr Hulse, who had been a resident at Dunollie Nursing Home, was also a much-loved father in law to Sue and Anne, a grandfather and great grandfather.
A funeral will be held today at 2pm at Woodlands crematorium.