Tributes paid to much-loved St Albans market trader

John Evans, who had a stall at St Albans market for 39 years, died aged 62 on Wednesday (5)

John Evans, who had a stall at St Albans market for 39 years, died aged 62 on Wednesday (5) - Credit: Unknown - NOT Archant

The family of a much-loved market trader have paid tribute following his recent death.

John Evans, of John’s Fabrics, had a stall at St Albans market for more than 30 years but died following a 22-month battle with cancer on October 5, aged 62.

Customers and friends of John have been paying their respects over the past week and his daughter Tasha Honeybourne spoke to the Herts Advertiser about his legacy.

She said: “We’ve had lots of flowers on the market stall and cards from customers. He was there for 39 years, since 1977. He’s had customers with their kids and then they’ve come with their kids. He’d gone through three or four generations of people who kept coming back.

“He had regular customers who would come over and say ‘I’m not going to buy anything today I just wanted a hug’.”

John was originally a mechanic but took over the family fabric business from his parents, later having his own stall at various markets in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Tasha spoke of his hard-working nature, and told the Herts Advertiser he worked through all of his chemotherapy and radiotherapy, up until last Saturday before his death.

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She said: “He was going to retire at the end of October because he was given six to seven weeks to live on the Monday (3).”

Tasha went on: “He was a fantastic dad. He worked so hard to give us what we needed. He was a working man and he gave us a fantastic upbringing and I wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’m a daddy’s girl. He was my dad and I loved him to bits. His death has dented the whole family.”

A tribute sent into the Herts Advertiser from a Mrs V Elbourn, of Carnegie Road, St Albans, said: “I speak for all of his customers [when I say] we will miss you very much.

“John was always there; cheerful, helpful, and always a hello as you passed his stall. I am pleased to say that John’s son ‘Garth’ that owns the haberdashery stall will be on the market as usual. Our sympathy goes out to all the family.”

Markets Manager Darren Lynch also paid tribute.

He said: “John was very helpful when I began this job two years ago and I became close to him. He was very sharp with a dry sense of humour which I will really miss.

“He knew his profession inside out which was why he was able to trade at the market for more than 30 years. I will be at his funeral to pay my respects and give my condolences to his family.”

John leaves behind his mother, wife, two children and four grandchildren.

His funeral will be tomorrow (21) at 12.15pm at Bedford Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations, if desired, can be made via to the Primrose Unit where John was cared for.