Tributes to resort coffee shop owner

By Sarah ChambersA GRIEVING son has paid tribute to his father, a devoted family man who died at the scene of a car crash.Reg Elliott, 65, an owner of the Gallery Coffee Shop in Thorpeness, is thought to have suffered a heart attack while at the wheel of his car in Ipswich on Sunday.

By Sarah Chambers

A GRIEVING son has paid tribute to his father, a devoted family man who died at the scene of a car crash.

Reg Elliott, 65, an owner of the Gallery Coffee Shop in Thorpeness, is thought to have suffered a heart attack while at the wheel of his car in Ipswich on Sunday.

A post-mortem examination was carried out yesterday to establish the cause of his death, but the results are not expected to be known until today .


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Mr Elliott's close-knit family, who were involved in the coffee shop business, were trying yesterday to come to terms with his sudden death.

His son, Courtenay, an only child who ran the family business with his father, said it had been a “traumatic” time.

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His father, an Ipswich Town season ticket holder, had been returning from watching the Blues beat Millwall to clinch top spot in the Coca-Cola Championship when he was involved in a three-car accident in Colchester Road.

“There was no warning whatsoever of any illness. It was pretty instant,” said Courtenay Elliott, who added his father had been a diabetic for some years, although his condition had been treated and controlled. “He'll be very much missed. The village has been very quiet.”

The family have received many cards and messages of condolence from villagers and their shop was closed yesterday.

But Courtenay Elliott said it might reopen today. “It would have been his wish. He was a businessman and he would not have wanted to see too many days go by,” he added.

Reg Elliott, who was born and brought up in Guernsey, spent most of his working life on the island involved the catering trade.

He worked in pubs and inns, as a hotelier and a taxi driver and as the head of a nightclub in Guernsey during the 1960s.

The family - Reg and his wife, Carol, their son, Courtenay and his wife, Alexandra, together with their daughter, Kelly, six, moved to Thorpeness six years ago.

“We decided to do a joint venture together so they could see their grandchild grow up. We discovered this place six years ago, so we sold up in Guernsey and moved here,” said Courtenay Elliott.

“It has been a great challenge for us and we have turned this place round - it's part of the community.”

In the last year, Reg Elliott had taken more of a back seat in the running of the business and their dream had been to sell up and move as a family to Portugal. “We wanted to be somewhere where the season was longer and we could have a better quality of life,” said Courtenay Elliott.

“We intended to stay through the winter and try again next spring, but that will have to be re-thought and re-decided.”

He paid tribute to his father, describing him as “very genuine, very honest”. “He meant what he said, be it right or be it wrong - he spoke from the heart,” added Courtenay Elliott.

“Everything he ever did was for my mother or for me or for the family - we always came first. He's going to be greatly missed.

A funeral has yet to be arranged, but the family is planning to hold it on Guernsey.

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk

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