Stella the green haired lady remembered

An amateur radio enthusiast and partner in a family aquatic and pet shop business in Yarmouth and Lowestoft, Stella Haynes, has died aged 64.It was her express wish that a Victorian horse-drawn hearse, with black horses, would lead the funeral procession to the Gorleston crematorium for a service, which takes place this afternoon.

An amateur radio enthusiast and partner in a family aquatic and pet shop business in Yarmouth and Lowestoft, Stella Haynes, has died aged 64.

It was her express wish that a Victorian horse-drawn hearse, with black horses, would lead the funeral procession to the Gorleston crematorium for a service, which takes place this afternoon.

With her husband, Les, they started a thriving aquatic business, Koi-Joy, which now imports fish from China. It started in the back garden of the family home at Belton, near Yarmouth, more than 20 years ago when they sold fish from their pond for 50p each.

Now, they have shops in Nile Street, Gorleston, and Norwich Road, Lowestoft, which also specialises in reptiles.


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Stella, who was just 4ft 10ins tall, was known to customers and friends as the “green-haired lady” and was born in Edmonton, London, and moved to Norwich. As a pensioner, she was proud to be an OAP or in her words an “Old-Aged Punk,” and for the last five years always dyed her hair a vivid shade of green.

Always lively, with a great sense of fun, and hugely-energetic, she ran the Costessey Dance School for many years and was also involved with a local amateur dramatic group, the Brecklanders.

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She had worked at Calor Gas and then for the GPO at the central Norwich telephone exchange. Later as secretary to the Norwich Club for the Divorced and Separated at the Tudor House in Rose Lane, she met and later married Les.

The business, started almost by accident, as Les, who had bred some fish in a pond, sold the first 300 in a week, for 50p each, by hanging a sign over his garden gate. Another lot rapidly sold, and then another, and another.

Today, Koi-Joy has become a wholesaler, importer and exporter of quality fish, and Stella was heavily involved in the growth of the business, especially on the marketing and promotional aspects.

The first shop at Gorleston was opened in 1991 and as the business expanded, bigger were acquired, and 10 years ago, a Lowestoft branch was started.

She was still involved as lead singer in a Country and Western band and was a talented pianist. Stella, with her call-sign, G-OCLG, was also known around the world to fellow “radio hams.” She and Les were proficient at Morse code as they kept in touch with fellow enthusiasts.

She leaves a husband, Les, and daughters, Joanne and Wendy, and sons, Leslie and Martin and six grandchildren. Mark predeceased.

A funeral service will be held today at Gorleston Crematorium, 12.40pm.

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