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Tributes paid to original ‘Mr Thrifty’
A GRIEVING family has paid tribute to a well-respected retailer, known as the original ‘Mr Thrifty’, who has died following a short illness.
Ian Wilkinson, aged 64 and from Eccleston, died on Sunday.
The respected pharmacist graduated from the University of Liverpool aged 22.
He went on to buy his first pharmacy in 1974 on Ashtons Green Drive, Parr, going on to open a second shop in Junction Lane, Sutton before moving to larger premises in Fingerpost.
After deciding to diversify his businesses Ian opened a discount store in the former church building next to his Fingerpost pharmacy.
As a result ‘Mr Thrifty’ was born in 1983, as one of the first discount stores in the town.
Always conscious of keeping his businesses within the town, Ian helped to keep people of St Helens in jobs over three decades.
The business was a family affair, with Ian’s mum Ivy, as well as wife Maureen, helping with the admin and payroll, while dad George helped to maintain the building.
Daughters Anna and Kate also helped out when they visited the store, often lending a hand in the shop.
Ian also kept another store in the town centre for a short time, on Claughton Street, as well as maintaining a warehouse in Sutton.
One highlight of Ian’s professional life came when he was invited to meet Prince Charles on the Prince of Wales’ visit to the town a few years ago.
Ian sold the business in 2010, with new management maintaining the ‘Mr Thrifty’ name.
“Our family are so proud of all that dad achieved in his professional life – he worked hard to help the people of St Helens wherever he could,” said daughter Kate.
“Dad will be greatly missed by his family and many friends, but he leaves us with precious memories filled with love and laughter.”
Ian leaves wife and childhood sweetheart Maureen, 64, and daughters Kate, 34, and Anna, 30.