FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to popular fishmonger who always made time for his customers.
Peter Cripps, (pictured on the right), former owner of P&S Cripps Fishmongers in West Street, Fareham, died earlier this month from a heart attack.
At a poignant funeral service held yesterday, friends and family packed Portchester Crematorium to pay their respects to Mr Cripps, who worked as a fishmonger for more than 50 years.
His son Stephen said his dad had a lot of character and will be missed in Fareham.
‘The number of people who turned up to the funeral showed how loved he was,’ said the 60-year-old.
‘He dedicated his life to the shop and had so much character.’
Stephen, of Three Potters Avenue in Fareham, added that his dad was always up for a laugh.
‘He gave so much to his customers and always had time for them. He was always laughing and joking and would be there for anyone.’
Mr Cripps took over P&S Cripps Fishmongers from his father Arthur who opened the store in 1916. After leaving school at 14 years old, he decided to start working at the shop.
And for 59 years Mr Cripps worked tirelessly before the family sold the business last May. But he used to occasionally work for the new owners.
Long-term customer John Garrett said Mr Cripps was a true gentleman.
He said: ‘Peter was an icon of Fareham. He was a gentleman and a good man. His death is a huge loss for Fareham.’
At the funeral service Father Roger Jackson spoke about Mr Cripps’ life and said he will be remembered as one of the greatest characters in Fareham.
He said: ‘I am sure Peter will be remembered by many in the town and was perhaps one of the last great characters of Fareham.’
Councillor for Fareham South Dennis Steadman used to own a business next door to Mr Cripps.
He said: ‘Peter was a fantastic man. I remember his shop always had queues because he would spend time talking to all his customers and taking an interest into their lives.
‘He will always be remembered for being kind and gentle.’
Paul Kneller, owner of PK Tattoos next door to the fishmongers, said he would talk about Pompey with Mr Cripps.
Paul, who knew him for nearly 20 years, said: ‘We would always talk about Pompey whenever we spoke.
‘He was a big football fan and we always talked about how the club was getting on.
‘Peter was just interested to hear how people were getting on and would spend a lot of time talking to customers and they loved to talk back. He gave everyone his time of day and everyone had time for him.’