WJ White Florists in Gorleston to close after 70 years of business
- Credit: David Hannant
A family-run florist which helped brighten up the seaside town of Gorleston for 70 years has shut up shop for the last time.
WJ White Florists was opened in Gorleston High Street in 1947 by William John White, and was originally also a greengrocers.
After Mr White's retirement, the business was carried on by his daughter Marion Dakkak and son Laurence White, along with their partners Ghatfan and Maureen.
Over the years the family has catered for the floral needs of people across the borough, providing decorations for all occasions.
Mrs Dakkak said: 'My brother and I both grew up around the business, and both developed a great fondness for flowers.
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'We have done some absolutely lovely weddings over the years, and helped decorate floats for festivals and carnivals which I particularly enjoyed.
'We are sorely going to miss our customers. Over the years many of them have become more like friends.'
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The business has also seen the family rub shoulders with the occasional celebrity, with such names as Des O'Connor and Danny La Rue popping in when performing in the borough, and even welcomed royalty on one occasion.
In the 1980s, a second shop was opened under the WJ White name in Great Yarmouth, in Northgate Street, but this shop too has closed, as the owners look forward to enjoying retirement.
Mrs Dakkak said: 'We decided that it was the right time to retire. We are expecting our first grandchild in January and it will give us much more family time.
'We are also planning on doing some travelling, going on holiday and doing the things we otherwise wouldn't have had time to do.'
After announcing the decision to retire with a humble poster in the shop, the family was greeted with messages of support and gratitude for their service.
'We've had some really lovely messages and cards. People have been so kind' said Mrs Dakkak. 'It has been really nice.'