Tributes have flooded in after a Worcester Park shopkeeper died just six days before her 88th birthday.

Thames Ditton resident Rose Hyams, who looked after Broadways Bargains in Central Road for more than 50 years, passed away on June 27.

Since the news broke people have expressed their sadness over her passing and shared their memories of her.

Long-time friend Kay Foale, 74, who worked with her at the shop for 12 years, said: “She was a very caring person. She was a very acute businesswoman but she was also very caring.

“When I was working in the shop sometimes we got more people coming in the day who just wanted a chat with someone because they were lonely.

“Or they had some sad news - or even bereavement - and she would take them out the back, sit them down, make them a cup of tea, and chat to them.

“She was that sort of person.”

Sutton Guardian:

Broadway Bargains in Central Road. Photo: Richard Johnson

Mrs Foale told Sutton Guardian on August 7 how both her mum and Rose would have coffee together before she herself began working at Broadway Bargains.

Customers would visit Broadway Bargains “from miles around” to stock up on haberdashery, she said, after it was first opened in 1966.

She also told of Rose's "little-known" philanthropy, donating to charities for guide dogs and cancer research.

The retired Oaks Avenue resident added: “She always had a smile and she always had time for people, she did that extra bit for someone.

“If you went in and said, ‘I want such and such,’ she’d say, ‘Give me a week and I’ll see if I can find it’.”

On August 6, Richard Johnson, who runs a Worcester Park community Facebook page, published a tribute.

In the post he said: “For generations, residents of Worcester Park and far beyond were amazed to enter a shop where the styles – and prices – seemed to be set in an era that had long since disappeared from Central Road. And all other high streets.

“Success in business is often measured by a willingness and ability to rapidly adapt and seize new opportunities.

“And yet while consumers, shops, and brands came and went, Broadway Bargains remained enduringly popular.

“For generations of young children growing up in Worcester Park, Rose’s shop was also an Aladdin’s cave of pocket money priced treats – and a source of affordable gifts.

“Needless to add, Rose and her treasure trove within a time capsule that was her shop are greatly missed.”

Sutton Guardian:

Broadway Bargains in Central Road. Photo: Richard Johnson

The post has received both more than 500 ‘likes’ and 150 comments at the time of publishing, with many expressing their sympathies.

Rose ran Broadway Bargains for 51 years, from 1966 to 2017, until her health “began to decline” following a 50th anniversary celebration during 2016.

Her funeral was held on July 6.