Goodbye to popular Haddenham newsagent Norah who has died at the age of 94

PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 November 2018

Norah and her husband George took on busy, but rundown, newsagents in the village in 1965. Here they are in 1970. Picture: GILL MARCHANT.

Norah and her husband George took on busy, but rundown, newsagents in the village in 1965. Here they are in 1970. Picture: GILL MARCHANT.


A long-standing newsagent from Haddenham who was also a keen sportswoman has passed away at the age of 94.

Norah Elizabeth Wilkins died peacefully at The Woodlands in Earith on October 30.

Norah was born in the precincts of Peterborough Cathedral - where she was christened, confirmed and married to late husband George who she met when working at Hotpoint.

They moved to Haddenham from Peterborough with their daughter Gill in 1965.

Due to George’s redundancy from Hotpoint they saw this as a chance for something new.

Norah and George took on busy, but rundown, newsagents in the village and it was their opinion of “treat customers as you would like to be treated” that soon won them affection.

She was also a talented AAA sprinter who won many races in the UK and also played both mixed and ladies hockey and cricket.

Daughter, Gill Marchant, said: “Their trusty paperboys and girls delivered papers to Haddenham, out to Earith bridge and Aldreth all week and Wilburton also on Sundays.

“This was a six-and-a-half day week with early mornings and the Ely Standard arriving hot off the press on Thursday evenings to be sorted into delivery rounds ready for the morning.

“At this time ice cream was a often a chosen dessert for Sunday lunch, and this would be carefully wrapped in layers of newspaper to keep it firm as few people had a freezer.

“She was an astute buyer for the shop saying ‘would I buy this to give to friend or family?’, if she didn’t deem it good value and quality it didn’t make it to the shop.

“Always a champion of the underdog, she would help anyone.”

After her retirement in the early 1980s, Norah was able to renew her interest in flower arranging and went on to assist with the decorating of Ely Cathedral and Haddenham church flower festivals.

Norah will be greatly missed by Gill, son-in-law Peter, granddaughter Alicia, niece Tricia and her friends.

The funeral service will be held at the Methodist Chapel Haddenham, on Monday November 26 at 10.30 am followed by cremation at March for family only.

Family flowers only, donations if desired for Alzheimer’s Research or Redwings Animal Sanctuary may be left at the service or to Ely Funeral Services, 4 Tower Road, Ely, CB7 4HW.

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