Death of generous and kind Lancaster shopkeeper

The late Michael Gorrill.
The late Michael Gorrill.
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A leading Lancaster shopkeeper who ran a prominent high street store for many years has died aged 84.

Michael Gorrill, longtime operator of his family’s business the Gorrills household goods shop in Penny Street, passed away in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Mr Gorrill was born in Elms Drive, Morecambe, in 1931, the second son of Norman and Doris Gorrill, and attended the Friends’ School in Lancaster.

After national service in the army, he married his wife Joyce in 1956 at the Church of the Ascension, Torrisholme.

He enjoyed being a member and chairman of Lancaster Round Table, a member and president of Lancaster Rotary Club, a trustee and chairman of Lancaster Almshouses, a member of Loyne Investment Club and a 
member of Morecambe Golf Club.

Michael worked firstly for his father Norman, who was mayor of Lancaster in 1953-54, in the family draper’s in Penny Street, and then expanded and modernised Gorrills of Lancaster, running the business until 1988.

He was much respected by his staff and cared for them all.

His daughter Melanie and eldest son Paul joined him in the 1980s and he was proud that Paul has carried on the business to this day.

In a family tribute at the funeral at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium, grandson Adam said: “He was very friendly, welcoming, warm and kind and he was a true gentleman.

“He was a much-loved and generous host to many friends, some of whom were from his schooldays.

“His warmth and kindness to his family will be 
remembered forever.”

The service was conducted by Fr Christopher Holden, Vicar of Torrisholme.

Mr and Mrs Gorrill enjoyed visiting youngest son Neil in Denia, Spain; middle son John in far-flung places such as Turkey and Hong Kong; and grand-daughter Annabel and their two great-grandchildren in Torquay.

Donations in Mr Gorrill’s memory were given to St John’s Hospice. He was a founder member of the hospice support group.

Thank you to Alan Sandham for his help with this tribute.