A retired Helston shopkeeper who commanded the respect and admiration of all he met has died at the age of 75.

Colin Davies, who managed the town’s Woolworths store for two decades, passed away on March 18 after a short illness.

Pay your own tribute to Colin Davies at thepacket.co.uk Mr Davies moved with his family to Helston in early May 1972. The day they arrived the town was decked out in flags, leading to one of his children to believe the fanfare was for them. However they had actually arrived on Flora Day.

This event would become a special day for the store each year, with Mr Davies organising a lavish buffet for staff members, their families and any off-duty policemen, allowing them to watch the dances from Woolworth’s prime vantage point at the bottom of Coinagehall Street.

He also became known for his love of fancy dress and each year staff would don different costumes as part of a store competition.

One year Woolworths raffled a car for the town’s Christmas lights, although this was not made any easier by an eager traffic warden ticketing the car as it parked outside – a fee that Mr Davies duly paid and then awarded with the car to the winner.

Each year he would dress up as Father Christmas for the Helston Royal British Legion, where he was secretary for a time.

Mr Davies, pictured right, loved the Blue Anchor where he was a regular customer and was a member of the town’s chamber of commerce.

He made lasting friendships, including with police officer John Liddicoat and Jack the butcher whose shop was next to Woolworths.

A keen fisherman who fished off boats from Porthleven, he once caught a conga eel that weighed 59 pounds and was longer than six foot.

Mr Davies was part of the town twinning committee and visited Sasso Marconi in Italy on three official trips, as well as many more times on holiday.

He also welcomed return visitors to his home in, ironically, Marconi Close.

Mr Davies retired from Woolworths in 1993 but remained in the town until only 14 months ago, when he and his wife Pamela moved to Plymouth to be near their children and grandchildren.

Pamela worked in the Angel Hotel between 1972 and 1974, then at ETS for 29 years.

Mr Davies was born in Swansea on May 15, 1937 and joined Woolworths in 1954, a company he would remain with for the rest of his working life.

However, just a year in he was called to do National Service, between 1955 and 1957, in Berlin, working in Spandau Prison where he saw Hermann Hess, a prominent politician in Nazi Germany.

He later returned to Woolworths, with St Aubyn, Newport, Liskeard and Devonport among the branches he worked at before coming to Helston.

He married Pamela in 1960 and they had two children, Russell and Elizabeth.

A funeral service for Mr Davies will be held on Thursday, April 4 at 3pm, at Weston Mill Crematorium in Plymouth.

This will be followed by a reception at the Blue Peter Inn at 68 Pomphlett Road, Plymstock from 4pm.

There will be family flowers only, but donations can be given for Cerebra, a charity set up to help improve the lives of children with brain related conditions.

Mr Davies’s friends from Helston and the surrounding area are welcome to travel to Plymouth for the funeral.

Alec Robertson, Cornwall councillor for Helston’s east division and former council leader, was a neighbour of Mr Davies for many years and described him as “like a second father.”

He said: “I had the very good fortune of growing up in Barton Close, Gwealdues with Colin and his family as next door neighbours. We have been close family friends ever since and, in many ways, he was like a second father to me.

“Colin was a lovely, generous and big-hearted man. He was also great company, enjoyed life and lived for his family and friends.

“I know that there will be many around Helston who, like me, will be very sad at his loss but he will also leave us with many happy memories.”