'A one-off': Tributes to Camden music shop owner Dot Fraser
- Credit: Polly Hancock
The face of a renowned Camden shop who “transformed” the lives of local musicians has died from a stroke aged 66.
Dot Fraser, who ran Dots Music Shop in St Pancras Way, was a professional musician and teacher who worked at primary schools in Hampstead and Kentish Town.
Described as a “one-off”, tributes have been paid to her generosity, gratitude and sense of humour – and her “huge” presence at the heart of local music.
Dot, a singer, performer and instrumentalist who studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, opened her Kentish Town shop in the 1990s with her husband Noel.
He posted on the shop's Facebook page: “Dot faced the life shock of her lung cancer diagnosis some 3 1/2 years ago, with enormous courage, fortitude, resolution and positivity.
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“She withstood the rigours of daunting treatments, and was able to reap their benefits. She was always keen to support those suffering similar shocks, and in her own way became quite an inspirational figure.”
Clair Chapwell, who met Dot in the Camden jazz choir Take 20, said: “She was the alto to sit next to, she always had the note. I clung to her side like a limpet.”
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Clair added: “She never stopped powering along, even with terminal lung cancer she and Noel walked a million steps for diabetes in three months last year.
“She was breathtakingly generous, always a laugh. A one-off.”
Ann Connock, a fellow choir singer, hailed Dot’s “clear and constant” alto voice.
“She had an energy and zest for life which was undimmed by her cancer diagnosis and her humour, compassion and warm friendship will be missed by many,” Ann said.
Malcolm Abbs, who taught Dot’s son Pete the clarinet and saxophone, said she and Noel “transformed life for local music teachers, students, and performers”.
“Everyone who knew Dot talks about her delicious cooking and treasures her exquisite hand-made Christmas cards,” Malcolm said.
“She leaves a heart-breaking gap in all our lives.”
Friend Rachel Staunton called Dot “one of the kindest humans to walk the planet”.
“I will always remember Dot for her generosity, her amazing cooking, her time and love for people and her delight and gratitude for even the simplest of pleasures,” she said.
“Only a few people as special as Dot in the world will be missed by so many.”
The 66-year-old, who moved to Whitstable in 2017, died on March 3. She is survived by her husband, three children and four grandchildren.