Cromer mechanic who survived Nazi bombing raid dies aged 84

John Andrews, a well-known Cromer mechanic

John Andrews, a well-known Cromer mechanic, has died at the age of 84. - Credit: Supplied by family

A mechanic known across north Norfolk for his warm personality has died aged 84. 

Born in 1937, the youngest of three siblings, John Andrews was three years old when he survived a bombing raid during the Second World War.

The explosive fell on a neighbour's house on Central Road in Cromer, killing a 12-year-old girl.

John Andrew, pictured here as a boy, survived the bombing in Central Road, Cromer during the Second

John Andrew, pictured here as a boy, survived the bombing in Central Road, Cromer during the Second World War. Picture: Supplied by Cromer Museum - Credit: Archant

Aged 20, he started work at Alan's garage and in 1960 met his future wife Ann at the town's skating rink.

They married three years later, moving into a house they had built the year before, with their daughter Rebecca born in 1968.

Mr Andrews left Alan's garage in the late 1960s to work at Hills garage in Sheringham before joining the newly built nylon factory, Norfolk Textured Yarns, in the early 1970s, where he was employed as a machinery operative and HGV driver.

In 1971, their son Matthew was born.

Mr Andrews left the factory in the early 1980s, setting up a car repair business, at first working from home, and in 1983 buying the old Pordages fruit warehouse next to the fire station on Canada Road.

Canada Garage, on Canada Road in Cromer, after it opened in the 1980s.

Canada Garage, on Canada Road in Cromer, after it opened in the 1980s. - Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Andrews

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He stayed at Canada Garage until 1993 when he sold the premises, moving into a new building on Holt Road.

At that time he bought the 'Stay a While' holiday lets on Norwich Road, while continuing to trade at the garage until 2000 when he sold the business.

John Andrews, a Cromer mechanic who has died at the age of 84, with his wife Ann.

John Andrews, a Cromer mechanic who has died at the age of 84, with his wife Ann. - Credit: Supplied by family

He sold the flats in 2001 and worked part-time in Safeway, a job he enjoyed due to the social element.

Retirement came in 2005 but eight years later Mr Andrews lost his daughter Rebecca.

His granddaughter then came to live with him and Ann and in late 2014 they moved to Aylsham, where his son Matt and his family live.

It was a big move for all the family but especially for Mr Andrews who had not only lived in Cromer for 76 years but also in the same house, which he had built himself, for 52 years.

His warm character soon helped him develop more friends, though, and he continued to attend events in Cromer, the monthly mardle being a highlight, as well as the Aylsham weekly market and the car boot sale.

In September this year, he was diagnosed with cancer, before dying peacefully on November 5.

 Mr Andrews is survived by his wife Ann, son Matt, sister Jean and his grandchildren Annya, Henri, Ben and Luke.   

His funeral is on at 2pm on December 1 at Cromer Crematorium.




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