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Former 'chippie' a real character

PUBLISHED: 16:11 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 July 2010

FORMER Great Yarmouth “chippie” Claude Ablitt has died at the age of 68 after suffering a ruptured aneurism.

Mr Ablitt was well known in the Yarmouth area for his fish and chip shops and stall in the town since the 1950s.

FORMER Great Yarmouth “chippie” Claude Ablitt has died at the age of 68 after suffering a ruptured aneurism.

Mr Ablitt was well known in the Yarmouth area for his fish and chip shops and stall in the town since the 1950s.

The family still owns a fish and chip shop in Cobholm.

His daughter Marilyn Staff said: “He was always a very lively character and was a familiar face at his stalls where he always worked himself, frying the fish and chips and wrapping them up for the customers.

“I expect that when he was younger he was a bit of a Jack-the-lad. But it this is what made him the personality he was.”

She said that as a boy he worked on the stalls in the market as well as going to school. He attended St Mary's Catholic School in Regent Road, from which he was expelled, and then went to the Hospital School in Market Place. He lived on Howard Street with three brothers and four sisters.

On leaving school he went into the Merchant Navy for two years but not before he had married his 16-year-old girlfriend Phyllis, when he was only 19. He went to work in the Greasy Spoon Café on North Quay and his first chippie was Rainbow Corner in the early 1960s.

Mrs Staff said: “He ran a number of stalls over the years and at one time had two of them either side of the Empire Theatre. He and Mum also managed some of the arcades in the town including the Stagecoach and a café.”

She said her father had a narrow escape in January 1987 when the small boat he and his son Terry were in sank after hitting a buoy off the Yarmouth coast and they were rescued by lifeboat.

Mrs Staff said: “He was a real character who will be missed.”

Mr Ablitt died in the James Paget University Hospital on Thursday, August 7. He is survived by his widow Phyllis, five children, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The funeral is at 10.40am at Gorleston Crematorium on Tuesday, with a family gathering at Church Farm, Burgh Castle.


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