FAMILY have paid tributes to a local newsagent who worked in the heart of Chard for more than 25 years.

Maurice Carl Emery moved to Chard when he was 49, and worked in the High Street Newsagents before getting the chance to take on his own shop in Holyrood Street.

Emery Newsagents remains in the family today, being run by Maurice’s grandson Andrew, and Andrew’s wife Gemma.

Maurice Carl Emery was born in Sutton Surrey 1935.

He went into the army at a young age.

He met Patricia and they married at 19, before Maurice changed careers, becoming a milkman and then a salesman.

The couple had five children when, in 1964, they decided to relocate the whole family to Canada.

While out there The Emery’s welcomed a sixth child into the family, and Maurice changed profession again, now working as a firefighter in Prince George, British Columbia.

After a while and a few lovely holidays back in the UK, Maurice and Patricia decided to return to the UK, settling in Chard in 1984.

It was during this time that he became known as a smiling face in the town centre, and he worked in his Holyrood Street newsagents until retirement in 2011.

Maurice Emery starred in the Chard & Ilminster News when he stood down at 76, and he joked with the reporter about being Chard’s ‘loveable Mr Grumpy’.

Maurice said: “I suppose some will call me a miserable old so-and-so,” he said. “But people know me and they’ve had to put up with it!”

Grandson Andrew bought the newsagents when Maurice retired, and in 2017 they added Little Emery’s, a children’s clothes shop, in the newsagent’s side room.

Andrew said: “He loved gardening, cars and any sports that were on TV.

“He was a family man, always spending his time with them when he could.”

As well as six children, Maurice has nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

He battled with bowel cancer for the last six years of his life, before he died at the age of 84.

Andrew added: “His wife and family miss him dearly and were all with him as he passed on the evening of December 29. He’s at peace now.”