Derek Stutton, Scarborough retailer

Derek Stutton
Derek Stutton
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Derek Stutton, who has died at 74, was a familiar figure among the racks of jackets and coats that made up the menswear retail trade in Scarborough.

He had been a fixture in Strefford’s gentlemen’s outfitters on Huntriss Row, which he managed, for the better part of half a century.

Born in the town in 1943, he attended both Hinderwell and Gladstone Road Schools, but spent the following three years in New Zealand, following his father’s transfer from Irton Moor wireless station.

Returning to Yorkshire, he embarked on his retail career in retail at Bradley’s Menswear in Queen Street, and began working at Strefford’s at 22, as an assistant manager. His customers there, over the years, included the comedians Ken Dodd and Tommy Cooper.

During the 1966 World Cup, he was invited by a Chilean contingent that had visited the store to see their team play a Group 4 match against the Soviet Union at Roker Park in Sunderland. His hosts lost 2-1, and their exit from the competition was sealed.

Observing professionally the trends in men’s fashions since the early 1960s, he expressed concern at the gradual decline in the popularity of traditional tailoring and the loss of associated skills as men’s wardrobes became ever more casual.

His friend and former business neighbour, the chiropodist and BBC radio presenter Charles White said of him: “Derek radiated tremendous dignity and an extraordinary sense of humour which raised people’s spirits when they met him and put them totally at ease. I worked alongside him in Huntriss Row for over 40 years, he was a master at his trade and a great rock and roll and comedy fan.”

He is survived by his wife Margaret, daughter Lynne, son Darren, son-in-law Gary and grandchildren, Rebecca and Sam.