Queenie Woodward: the ‘heart of soul’ of Harrison’s bakery and tea shop in Cromer

Queenie Woodward was a larger-than-life Cromer personality who will go down in the town's history books as the popular face of long-standing town bakery and tea shop Harrison's.

Queenie, who died on New Year's Day at the age of 88, was born Queenie Harrison in Louden Road, Cromer, in 1923.

She and her younger sister Sheila were brought up by their parents, George and Trixie Harrison.

In the late 1930s, George Harrison established Harrison's on Church Street, first as a sweet shop with fruit and vegetables as a sideline.

The shop evolved down the years into its memorable guise as a bakery and tea room, which continued at the same location, with the same traditional and old-fashioned look, until it was sold and closed in 2002.

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Queenie, who met husband John Woodward from Macclesfield when he was posted to north Norfolk during the second world war, worked in the family shop before taking it over as her parents stepped aside.

She had a series of shop assistants down the years, but her big personality and warm welcome ensured that many locals and visitors used to refer to Harrison's as 'Queenie's'.

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Queenie's son-in-law Chris Newland was the errand boy at Harrison's at the age of 12.

He met Queenie's late daughter Rachel while working there. They later married, and the couple took over the business in 1984 when Mr Newland left his job in the Army.

He said: 'People loved Queenie. They used to make a point of coming in to see her when they were on their holidays.'

Until 10 years ago, Queenie lived in a flat above Harrison's, before moving to her final home at Meadow Close in Cromer.

Mr Newland said: 'She was a slave to that shop and would never let anyone down. Her heart and soul went into it. Everybody knew Queenie. If she went to the bank a few doors down, she would take half an hour because she met so many people.'

Mr Newland said Harrison's was also popular because it produced 'genuine, honest home-made food', with 'nothing out of a tin or a packet'.

Queenie, whose husband died more than 30 years ago, leaves son-in-law Chris Newland, grandson Jamie and his wife Vickie, plus their children Zaranne, seven, and five-year-old Mia. She also leaves her nephew Jonathan, his wife Mandy and their sons.

? The funeral service takes place next Thursday, January 19, at 11.30am at Cromer Parish Church, followed by cremation at St Faith's at 1.15pm and a gathering later that day of family and friends at The Cottage on Louden Road, Cromer.

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