Obituary: Son pays tribute to much-loved Muswell Hill shopkeeper Stuart Martyn who ran W Martyn for decades

Three generations of the Martyn family. William (centre) with his late-father Stuart and his son, To

Three generations of the Martyn family. William (centre) with his late-father Stuart and his son, Tom. Picture: The Martyn family - Credit: Martyn family

The son of a much loved Muswell Hill shopkeeper has paid tribute to a “caring, thoughtful, family man.”

The late Stuart Martyn in his shopin Muswell Hill

The late Stuart Martyn in his shopin Muswell Hill - Credit: Stuart Martyn

Stuart Martyn, who was the third-generation of his family to run W Martyn grocer, died on August 8 aged 90.

Born in 1927, Stuart took over at the shop, in the Broadway, in the late 1950s.

He was a popular presence in the shop, which retains many of its early 20th century features, until he stepped back 15 years ago.

His son William said: “He left school and went and did his national service in the Royal Artillery. After that he came back home and started helping at the shop again.”

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Despite a bout of tuberculous delaying their marriage, he wed Colinne and they had four children.

At the time, the store had branches in Golders Green and Finchley. However against a backdrop of the explosion of supermarkets, he decided to change the business.

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“I used to go down to the wholesalers with him, and he used to love looking at the walnuts, or seeing where the apricots had come from,” said William. “He used to remember going down to the docks in east London when he was a boy to get the goods directly off the ships.

The shop now sells a wide range of tea, coffee, and other food.

Stuart loved the job so much he would return at Christmas to help out and see customers after his retirement.

William’s fondest memories of working with his dad were at that time of year. “We do a massive window display, and I used to help him. It was nice for him because he used to help his grandfather.

“It’s a luxury to work with your dad and be close to him.”

Stuart’s funeral is tomorrow, Thursday August 30, at St Marylebone Crematorium in East Finchley at 1pm. His coffin will pass the shop at 12.15pm. His family have said former customers are welcome to attend.

They are asking for any donations to be sent to Kelly & Co funeral directors, payable to Mrs A. Colinne Martyn. Money will be sent to local charities. Stuart is survived by wife Colinne, children William, Wendy, Mary and Carolyn, and seven grandkids.

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