Tributes paid to well known Bridlington woman who ran a shop that barely changed in 100 years
Her grandfather Ernest Whiteley opened the shop in 1901, and since then it has stayed within the family for over 100 years.
Ms Clough was born on March 5, 1933 and lived with her parents Susan and Joseph Clough in the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Keighley. The family moved to the East Riding when Ms Clough was very young. Her father died when she was approximately nine years old and her mother worked closely with her grandfather in the shop.
Sue Walker worked with Ms Clough for 35 years and took over running the shop approximately three years ago.
Ms Walker said: “She was more or less brought up by her grandfather who started the business in 1901.
“She was very close to him, between him and her mother she effectively grew up in the shop.”
Steve Woolias was Ms Clough’s accountant and he took responsibility for Ms Clough two and a half years ago.
Mr Woolias said: “She went to a food technology college in Manchester before moving on to become a housekeeper at a number of schools and universities.
“When she worked at Hull University, she looked after renowned poet and novelist Philip Larkin. She used to make his own personal cottage cheese because he refused to have the shop bought stuff!
“It was around 1960 when she returned to Bridlington because her mother was struggling to run the shop by herself.
“By this time her grandfather had become blind and couldn’t do much in the shop.
"She did a lot of what you could call ‘after dinner speaking’ and went around the whole area giving talks to groups like the Women's Institute.
“In these talks she spoke about her her life in retail and had a lot of amusing stories about customers and their idiosyncrasies.”
Ms Walker said: “The shop became Ms Clough’s life- however in her spare time she was exceptionally busy.
“She was in most of the groups in Bridlington and was part of the Tennis Club, Bridlington Operatics, History Society and Gardening Club, to name a few.
“She never wanted to change things in the shop. Her grandfather paid over £1000 for the cases in the 1930s, which was an awful lot of money back then.
“He spent all of his life making that money and spent so much time making the shop what it was, she did not want to change it. It’s history!
“We never took credit cards, it was cash or cheque only and we never went online. She was an absolute technophobe.
“Ms Clough was opinionated and was very much of her era and quite traditional in her thoughts.
“If you came into the shop and started touching things on the rails- she would tell you off! She would always say ‘you look with your eyes not your hands’.
“Everything was pen and paper- the accounts were all hand written and all the stock takes were hand counted. It used to take at least a month to do it! She would then designate time to copy it all into her stock book. She was so old school.
“However once you got to know her she had a very dark sense of humour, she could be really funny.
“The shop will have to be sold unfortunately. Bridlington will not realise what a loss it is until the shop is boarded up and gone- most people have grown up with this shop being here on the Promenade.”
The funeral will be held at East Riding Crematorium, Octon on November 20 at 2.30pm. All welcome.
Flowers are not encouraged. Ms Walker said: “She was an exceptionally practical person, it was a case of ‘well what on earth would I need flowers for’, she was very much a ‘no frills’ kind of person.” Donations in lieu of flowers for Bridlington RSPCA.
All enquiries Ernest Brigham and F Kneeshaw and Sons, Bridlington.