S. Neech Fish Shop

The shop was originally owned by Amelia Bales (b:1860, d:1951)
She passed it on to Sanders Neech (who we assume renamed it to S.Neech and sons) who ran it for a time
Later, Sanders sons Roy and Peter ran it (Jack was away during WWII as a POW)
Peter married Molly Rivett and left to work in her father's greengrocers business
Roy became ill and had to spend some time on crutches in the shop. He later died and Jack returned to run the shop
Jack married for the second time (to Yvonne Spalding).
When Jack died, the shop was run by Yvonne and her son David Neech.
(Contributer Paul Weavers)


End of an era for Beccles shop

Beccles and Bungay Journal - 29 June 2007

A Beccles business is marking the end of an era, as it prepares to close its doors for the last time after trading in the town for more than 100 years.

Neech's fresh fish shop in Blyburgate, has spanned four family generations and has been operating since 1905.

But in recent years, with the strain of competition from larger outlets and the increased price of fish, Yvonne Neech and her son David have decided to hang up their aprons for good.

But with a century of experience and a strong bond with all their stalwart customers, the sale of their shop and home, which Yvonne has made hers for 56 years, will surely leave a huge void in the town.

“It is purely and simply because the expenses and prices of fish outweigh our takings.” said Yvonne. “Since Tesco arrived we no longer have the passing trade.

“Things are never very good after Christmas and I think into the New Year some serious thinking had to be done. It's not easy because this has always been my home and I've got to go. There are lots of memories.”

The family have always prided themselves on their independence, having their own smokehouse, situated at the back of the shop, where the family's recipe of marinating the salmon in Scotch whisky, salt and Demerara sugar is carried out.

And David, who has run the business since the death of his father Jack, still gets up in the early hours of every morning to collect the fish from Lowestoft, which ranges from monkfish, swordfish and red snapper.

Jack's grandfather James originally acquired the property for £265 and conducted his trading by pony and trap. He began as a sitting tenant in 1905, but inherited the buildings in 1911, when owner John Moore passed away.

Over the years, the shop has enjoyed national attention, when Jack was interviewed on Radio 4's Food Programme and callers from all over the country expressed an interest in buying smoked eels from him.

And in the family home, folders are spilling over with thank you cards from satisfied customers.

“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are three really good days but you can't survive on that” said Yvonne. “If we had six days of very good trading, we would be ok.

“It has been in our family for years, it's the end of an era. There is a lady who is over 90 who has shopped here all her life and it is very sad,” she added.

The shop and house is currently up for sale, although it is unlikely it will open again as a business.

David and Yvonne said that they would like to thank all their customers, who they have classed as their friends, for their loyal support over the years.


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