IT was a sad day last year when the Foster family announced the closure of the business.
It was, for many years, a local institution in Thrybergh village and attracted many visitors to the area and will be sadly missed by a lot of people.
The business was started by George Foster and they had a store on the top of Whinney Hill and then extended that into a supermarket and later the land at the back into a bond warehouse.
There was not many supermarkets then back in the 60s. The contracting building work was done by father’s brother Wilf King. His wife was Gem the local midwife who delivered most of the babies in Thrybergh at that time.
In 1964 I left school and started work at Parkgate Iron and Steel Works and would cycle home off the night shift at 6am and George would be already there getting the store ready for opening. His white Jaguar would be parked outside. I know some of the number plate was FFF — Fosters Fine Foods.
The business expanded when the family invested in the purchase of the Home Coal Garage and the adjacent farm and buildings.
On talking to Sally I found out the farm belonged to the Morrels. The garage was where the lorries used to be kept to deliver local families’ coal from Silverwood Colliery.
The garage became a petrol station and the out buildings of the farm a garden centre and antique centre and restaurant which attracted visitors from far and wide.
The family, Maggie, Graham, Robert, John and Sally, worked very hard establishing the business.
My wife had a unit in the antique centre and she enjoyed her time there meeting the customers and other dealers.
The Foster family employed a lot of local people who stayed with the business and were loyal for a very long time.
We got to know Sally and some of the girls very well and could always have a chat and a giggle, so thanks girls, you know who you are.
The King family knew the Fosters quite well and my mother Phylis King worked for Maggie and Graham down at the family home.
My mother spoke very highly of the Foster family, especially Maggie and Sally.
Maggie and family used to support the lifeboats charity and had fundraising days at the home. Many people would come and travel long distances and my mother would go and help Maggie and the ladies on those days with the catering.
Graham came to my dad’s, Horace King, and all his brothers’ funerals and that shows what respect he had for the family.
Thrybergh does not seem quite the same without you.
Thanks to the Foster family for the memories. You are sadly missed.
Put your feet up and whatever you do enjoy your rest. You have earned it.