‘Massive reaction’ of community hailed following death of much-loved Martham businessman

Terry Whittaker of Whittaker Carpets who has died at the age of 71. The family business will carry o

Terry Whittaker of Whittaker Carpets who has died at the age of 71. The family business will carry on with his wife, son and grandson at the helm. - Credit: Mark Whittaker

A long-standing carpet retailer has lost his 11-year battle with cancer.

Terry Whittaker of Whittaker Carpets in Martham died in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after the disease spread to his bone marrow.

He was 71.

Mr Whittaker and his wife Janet have been trading from the same spot for more than 40 years, their focus on going the extra mile winning loyal custom that took them countrywide.

The father of two was born in Liverpool but moved to Cobholm with his parents and older brother Tony when he was around five years old.

On leaving school he trained with the Co-op and Palmers before moving to Normans.

He met his bride-to-be Janet at the Floral Hall in Gorleston, now the Ocean Room, marrying as teenagers and going on to spend 53 years together.

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They struck out on their own trading at first from their house in Cobholm before taking up the premises in White Street, Martham in 1975.

Over the years many of their customers had become friends, often laying carpets for them whenever they moved - even going as far as Scotland.

Mrs Whittaker said she was heartened by the messages and cards following her husbands death, hailing the 'massive reaction' locally.

She described her husband as a humorous man who was always smiling and never complained.

He enjoyed his garden and was very family focused.

That their son Mark and grandson Ben were now involved in the business was a source of pride, bringing three generations under the carpet banner and continuing the values they held true.

The couple also have a daughter Julie, two other grandsons Alexander and Dominic and one great granddaughter Layla who was the apple of his eye.

Aside from the family business he enjoyed cars and bikes and family holidays.

Mrs Whittaker said it had been a good business and that they had always enjoyed the work and their place in the heart of the community.

She is set to carry on at the shop, greeting customers who can mine her decades of expertise for advice.

Some people had got all their carpets from the shop no matter where they had moved to, and Mrs Whittaker said they were always happy to go wherever their customers needed them.