Daughter remembers 'strong, adventurous' greengrocer Pamela

Pamela and John Newton of Wisbech with bowls trophies

Pamela Newton (right) with husband John and some of the bowls trophies they won in the UK. - Credit: Family

The daughter of a former greengrocer described as a “strong, intelligent lady who always looked for new experiences” has paid tribute to her. 

Pamela Newton ran a greengrocer business with her husband Kenneth Newton, known as John, in Wisbech for around 40 years. 

Her daughter Penny said: “She was a strong, intelligent lady who always looked for new experiences, and I’m very proud of her.” 

Pamela died in December last year at the age of 92. 

Born in Burnt Oak, London in 1929, Pamela grew up during the Second World War before evacuating with her mother and brother to Wisbech where her relatives were living. 

While in the Fens, she attended the town’s Queen’s Girls School for six months before leaving school aged 14 for a reporter role at this newspaper. 

John and Pamela Newton

Pamela and John Newton also won bowls tournaments in Spain, where they retired. - Credit: Family

“She worked late nights, going to committee meetings before she moved to become a shorthand typist at Balding and Mansell printers,” said Penny. 

“They met at a youth club on Norwich Road run by Charlotte Bruce and married after dad did two years of national service.” 

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After Pamela married John at St Augustine’s Church, Wisbech in 1948, they started The Salad Bowl on Norfolk Street after running a specialist salad market stall. 

They also ran Newton’s on High Street, expanding the business to new premises on Hill Street before retiring to France in 1988. 

Pamela Newton with MP for Isle of Ely Sir Clement Freud

Pamela Newton outside the shop on High Street, Wisbech with David Steel and Sir Clement Freud. - Credit: Family

“They sold the Salad Bowl in 1988, but the man that bought it died,” said Penny. 

“So, mum and dad came back in 1996 because the lease reverted to them, so they came out of retirement, reopened the shop and painted on the window ‘the old crocs are back’.” 

In 1998, Pamela and John officially retired and returned to France before living in southern Spain, where John died in 2015. 

Pamela was a keen lawn bowler both at home and abroad, and was also interested in sailing and gardening.

Pamela and John Newton outside The Salad Bowl, Wisbech

Pamela and John Newton ran The Salad Bowl in Wisbech, and were greengrocers in the town for around 40 years. - Credit: Archant

"She sold plants and flowers in the shop and created beautiful gardens wherever she lived," Penny said.

She, like John, was involved with the Norfolk Street Traders Association, Chamber of Commerce and the Pensioner’s Association. 

“She used to do evening cookery classes, learnt how to make homemade wine and found a passion for art,” Penny added. 

“I would sum mum up as someone who was adventurous, courageous and had a never-ending thirst for knowledge. 

“She never lost that sense of adventure and inquisitiveness. In her head, she never got old."

Pamela leaves behind three children Jamie, Alison and Penny.