Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Grace celebrates 60 years behind the counter at family newsagents

PUBLISHED: 12:58 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58 15 November 2018

Family newsagents Websters in Debenham is still going strong after 60 years.
Two generations in the shop, Grace Webster,90, and daughter and son-in-law Ruth and Stephen Boulton.
Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Family newsagents Websters in Debenham is still going strong after 60 years. Two generations in the shop, Grace Webster,90, and daughter and son-in-law Ruth and Stephen Boulton. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Archant

One of Suffolk’s oldest shop workers is celebrating 60 years behind the counter at her family-run newsagents in Debenham.

Grace Webster, 90, and her late husband Robert, took over the High Street shop - and began selling their first EADTs and Stars - on Monday November 17, 1958.

Ipswich Town had won 5-3 against Brighton and Hove Albion just two days before, with Ray Crawford scoring a hat-trick.

Six decades later, Grace still works in the shop every day alongside son-in-law Stephen Boulton and daughter Ruth.

Mrs Webster said she and her husband bought the business after Robert got chatting to the previous owner in the village pub.

“I had worked in retail in Ipswich, and Robert was in farming,” she said.

“I worked in the Sunnucks clothes store in the centre of town.

“I was at home in Debenham, Ruth was a young girl and Edward was 11 months.

“Robert came home and said he had met Mr Oxborrow in the Woolpack, who had been running the newsagents for 20 years, and he had offered to sell it.

“I knew retail, and Robert was adaptable and happy to learn. So we thought we would try the shop.

“We used to sell 500 Anglians a day then. And the men would queue outside up on a Saturday afternoon, waiting for the Green’Un to arrive for the football results.

“I used to get up at 4am, ready to receive the papers when they came here from Ipswich railway station.

“I had my first customer in the door at 5.15am.”

Mrs Webster’s daughter Ruth joined the shop having worked for Lloyds Bank after leaving school, her husband joining the partnership in 1978.

She said her mother remained a key member of the team.

“Mum still loves to serve in the shop,” she said.

The newsagents is a seven-day business, delivering daily newspapers across a nine mile radius with newspaper boys and girls delivering to homes in the village.

It seems you get more for you money these days - the weekend papers are so heavy now, the youngsters have to use trollies at weekends rather than shoulder bags. Websters remains a family business, with four generations still living in the village - all within 200 yards of each other.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

A man has died following a stabbing in Ipswich, sparking a murder investigation.

Armed police have shut off a residential street in Ipswich following reports of a stabbing.

Thieves stealing from shops are causing a “constant” problem for town centre police and security teams, it has been revealed.

Blood donors in Suffolk are being urged to keep their lifesaving appointments before Christmas as missed sessions could hit stock levels over the critical festive period.

In his latest column, Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE analyses prime minister Theresa May’s tumultuous week at Westmister amid rows over Brexit.

Three youth football teams have been crowned the winners of our ‘Club Together’ campaign – taking home a share of £10,000 to spend on vital sporting equipment for budding stars.

The independent body responsible for triple murderer David McGreavy’s release has insisted it will never free dangerous criminals until it is “convinced” it is safe to do so.

Views being submitted over a “compromise” design for the £3million restoration of a historic Suffolk pier will be discussed next month.

In his latest column, Suffolk police chief constable GARETH WILSON looks at the highs and lows of policing at Christmas - and how you can prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime during the festive season.

One dog at a Suffolk RSPCA centre is facing a second Christmas without a “forever home”.

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24