Family-run fishing shop closes its doors 35 years after mother dies

AFTER 35 years of trading, a much-loved fishing store is closing its doors for the last time.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 5:26 pm
Allan's Marine in Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth, will be closing after 35 years of trading. Picture: Sarah Standing (030120-4345)

Family-run tackle and fishing supply store, Allan’s Marine, will close at the end of the month after the the shop’s co-owner Karon passed away in December.

Karon Watson, who co-owned the shop with her husband Allan, passed away after a short battle with cancer on December 10.

The shop, which was opened in 1985, was being run by their daughters, Donna Wallis, Tina Atkinson, Sarah Addiscott and Donna’s husband, Nick Wallis.

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Nick Wallis, one of the family members who helps run Allan's Marine with long term customer Ray Gattrell. Picture: Sarah Standing (030120-4327)

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Donna said: ‘We’re just not in a position to be able to keep it open anymore. It’s devastating really, it’s been there 35 years.

‘We have found such great friends that are like family. They weren’t just customers, they became lifelong friends and they are just as sad as us to see it go.’

The Stamshaw shop was a popular spot among residents, who would often pop in for a cup of tea and a chat with staff.

Karon and Allan Watson, who both owned Allan's Marine fishing store in Stamshaw before they died. The family are now closing the shop at the end of the month after Karon passed away in December.

Donna added: ‘It was more of a community shop rather than just fishing and tackle.

‘It’s always been a part of Stamshaw.

‘We would like to thank all of our wonderful customers over the years for their support, it truly means the world.’

Nick Wallis, one of the family members who helps run Allan's Marine. Picture: Sarah Standing (030120-4333)

Karon, who was a health care support worker, had a short fight with cancer but died on December 10, aged 62.

Nick took over the store when Allan died after an eight-month battle with cancer in 2010 aged 54 and has run it since with the help of Karon.

Allan, who was a keen fisherman, lost his leg while working as a ground worker and opened the shop with the money he received from his employer.

He wrote a weekly angling column for The News for a decade due to his extensive knowledge and dedication to the sport.

Ray Gattrell has been a customer of the shop for over 30 years and was good friends with the family.

The 64-year-old said: ‘I’ve watched them all grow up and watched the shop grow from nothing into what it is today.

‘It's just a crying shame. There’s thousands of fisherman that don’t know what to do without Allan’s Marine.’