TRIBUTES have been pouring in after the death of John Powell, aged 72, a well-known baker and shop owner in Malvern.

Mr Powell and his wife, Maggie, were married in 1975 and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

His parents owned Mowbray Nursing Home in Malvern and he went to Hillside School (which is no more) and Hanley Castle Grammar School. He loved sport and was in the cricket, hockey and rugby teams.

Upon leaving school he joined the police as a cadet working out of Upton-upon-Severn police station.

Although he enjoyed his time there, the police service wasn’t for him and he went to work for his brother-in-law, Chris Hunt, at his family business in Court Road, Malvern.

Maggie met John at a time when Rod Stewart’s Maggie May was always on the radio.

She said: “My dear mother insisted my name should not be shortened. It was always Margaret, but John started calling me Maggie, which I absolutely loved.

“My John was the love of my life. The kindest, gentlest, loving, most precious, husband, father, grandfather and friend to all who knew him."

Maggie said: “Our first date was at the Old Rectifying House in Worcester for prawn cocktail, steak and Black Forest gateaux – so seventies.”

The couple were married in August, 1975. Their first house was in Britten Drive, Malvern. In 1977 they were thinking about buying a hotel in Brixham, Devon. They went down there for a weekend to look around at hotels.

Malvern Gazette: FRIEND TO ALL: Tributes have been paid to Malvern baker John PowellFRIEND TO ALL: Tributes have been paid to Malvern baker John Powell (Image: Family)

Unfortunately, an average hotel was about £15,000 which they could not afford. They were then told about an ex-Wimpy Bar for lease in Dartmouth.

Maggie said “After a bit of wheeling and dealing the lease holder deferred payment on the lease until our house was sold. A deal was struck and we were in business.”

Their first daughter Emma was born in 1978. In 1980 second daughter Charlotte was born and, on a visit back to Malvern they saw a cake shop for lease in Barnards Green, which they later secured.

John worked in the Malvern shop during the week while Maggie was at home in Churston, Devon, looking after the babies. She also spent the evenings baking enough assortment of loaf cakes for John to take back to Malvern on a Sunday night, to sell in the shop.

Malvern Gazette: MEMORIES: Malvern baker John PowellMEMORIES: Malvern baker John Powell (Image: Family)Eventually they sold up and moved back to Malvern and bought an in-store bakery in Church Street – and that was the start of Orchard Bakery.

In between time John, with his brother-in-law Chris Hunt bought a launderette in Barnards Green and opened it as a Wet Fish Shop.

Maggie said: “We lived in the large flat over the Church Street shop until we moved to St Andrew’s Road, Malvern.

“Eventually we bought a bakery and cake shop in Albert Park Road, Malvern.

"Rachel, daughter number three was born in 1984.

“The bakery was thriving and we also had retail units in Kwik Save in Malvern Link and Evesham.

“In 1987 we bought Sunfold in Colwall, where John supported me, when I started my business.

“After a few years John decided to sell the bakery and shops."

Maggie said: “We have been blessed with six, precious grandchildren, Ellie, William, Joey, Isabella, Wilfred and Felix.

“These littles were the apple of their grandad’s eye and he absolutely adored them and our time back in Malvern with our family and our dearest friends who all embraced us when we came home.

“My John had worked so very hard all his working life achieving so much. 

“He never uttered a bad word or had unkind thoughts about anyone. He has left us all far too soon with a huge void in all our hearts.”

John died at home on Saturday, January 20th, from a heart attack.

The funeral service will be held at 10.30 on February 15th, at Christ Church Malvern followed by Abbey Hotel Malvern’s Elgar Suite for refreshments.