Tributes paid to beloved Ipswich fish and chip shop owner Luigi Mariani

The three generations of the Mariani fish & chip business in Ipswich; Dario Mariani in his new shop

The three generations of the Mariani fish & chip business in Ipswich; Dario Mariani in his new shop in Duke Street with his father John and grandfather Luigi Mariani who used to run the family fish shops in town. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a well-known Ipswich fish and chip shop owner who has died aged 87.

Luigi with his accordion

Luigi with his accordion - Credit: Archant

Luigi Mariani, who moved to Ipswich in 1962 and ran Mariani’s in Nacton Road for several years before retiring from his second shop in 1995, was a much-loved member of the community, his daughter Angi said.

She said: “He loved Ipswich, having moved here in 1962, and his family life was fully integrated in the town.

“He was a well-known member of the Italian community and the business community.

“He also loved to play the accordion.

When he came to the UK from Italy in 1962

When he came to the UK from Italy in 1962 - Credit: Archant

“After he retired he played with an accordion band, The Accordions, who played at weddings and other celebrations.

“I think there were about 20 of them, but only 10 would be able to turn up for a show – the others were in hospital. He played up until he was about 83 or 84.

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“My mum, Adalgisa, is hoping the Italian community will come along to celebrate his life (at St Pancras Church) on Monday, October 16.”

Mr Mariani’s wife Adalgisa was the main fish fryer at the shop, while his son John and grandson Dario have now carried on the family tradition.

Like many Italians in the town, Mr Mariani came from a rural mountain village in Italy and was used to working hard on the land, his daughter said.

He moved to England in 1956 and worked in a canning factory in Swansea, working in the building industry in Newcastle, and carried out bricklaying work in Bedford before moving to Ipswich.

His daughter added: “He did not have many years schooling during the war, but he taught himself and was a very intelligent man, as well as being very friendly and good with customers.”

Mr Mariani bought a house in Camden Road in 1962, for £3,700.

His daughter said: “In those days that was a lot of money and the bank manager was impressed that Dad had saved up half the money from working hard since he arrived in England in 1956 and loaned him the rest of the money, which he paid back over four years.”

Mr Mariani, who died at Ipswich Hospital, leaves behind his wife, three children, and six grandchildren.

His funeral takes place at St Pancras Church, in Orwell Place, Ipswich, on Monday October 16, starting at 11am.

Family flowers only, but donations can be made to the British Heart Foundation in Mr Mariani’s memory.

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