The shop was originally owned by Amelia
Bales (b:1860, d:1951)
She passed it on to Sanders
Neech (who we assume renamed it to S.Neech and sons)
who ran it for a time
Later, Sanders sons Roy
and Peter ran it (Jack was away during WWII as a POW)
Peter married Molly Rivett and left to work in her father's
Roy became ill and
had to spend some time on crutches in the shop. He later
died and Jack returned to run the shop
Jack married for
the second time (to Yvonne
When Jack died, the
shop was run by Yvonne and her son David Neech.
End of an era for
and Bungay Journal - 29 June 2007
A Beccles business is marking the end of an era, as it prepares
to close its doors for the last time after trading in
the town for more than 100 years.
Neech's fresh fish shop in Blyburgate, has spanned four
family generations and has been operating since 1905.
But in recent years, with the strain of competition from
larger outlets and the increased price of fish, Yvonne
Neech and her son David have decided to hang up their
aprons for good.
But with a century of experience and a strong bond with
all their stalwart customers, the sale of their shop and
home, which Yvonne has made hers for 56 years, will surely
leave a huge void in the town.
“It is purely and simply because the expenses and prices
of fish outweigh our takings.” said Yvonne. “Since Tesco
arrived we no longer have the passing trade.
“Things are never very good after Christmas and I think
into the New Year some serious thinking had to be done.
It's not easy because this has always been my home and
I've got to go. There are lots of memories.”
The family have always prided themselves on their independence,
having their own smokehouse, situated at the back of the
shop, where the family's recipe of marinating the salmon
in Scotch whisky, salt and Demerara sugar is carried out.
And David, who has run the business since the death of
his father Jack, still gets up in the early hours of every
morning to collect the fish from Lowestoft,
which ranges from monkfish, swordfish and red snapper.
Jack's grandfather James originally acquired the property
for £265 and conducted his trading by pony and trap. He
began as a sitting tenant in 1905, but inherited the buildings
in 1911, when owner John Moore passed away.
Over the years, the shop has enjoyed national attention,
when Jack was interviewed on Radio 4's Food Programme
and callers from all over the country expressed an interest
in buying smoked eels from him.
And in the family home, folders are spilling over with
thank you cards from satisfied customers.
“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are three really good days
but you can't survive on that” said Yvonne. “If we had
six days of very good trading, we would be ok.
“It has been in our family for years, it's the end of
an era. There is a lady who is over 90 who has shopped
here all her life and it is very sad,” she added.
The shop and house is currently up for sale, although
it is unlikely it will open again as a business.
David and Yvonne said that they would like to thank all
their customers, who they have classed as their friends,
for their loyal support over the years.