6,000 pay tribute to one of store’s loyal customers

Carol Cowell from Fleetwood who visited Blackpool Marks and Spencer nearly every day
Carol Cowell from Fleetwood who visited Blackpool Marks and Spencer nearly every day
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Carol Cowell was not just any Marks and Spencer customer - she was so dedicated to the retailer that she visited its Blackpool branch nearly every day.

And as she battled cancer, one of her last requests to her family was to be taken to the M&S coffee shop where she was a familiar face to staff.

Following her death last week, Mrs Cowell’s son Luke posted a message on Facebook thanking workers at the Church Street store for the big part they played in her life.

Since then his post has attracted more than 6,000 ‘likes’ and messages of condolence from M&S staff and customers from all over the country.

Luke said: “I have been overwhelmed by the number of well-wishers and messages of condolence we have had.

“It was only intended as a little thank-you and to show our appreciation because Blackpool Marks and Spencer played such a big part in mum’s life.

“She first started going to the Fleetwood store, but when that closed down she started going to the Blackpool one.

“Any excuse, and she would make the one hour trip on the bus.”

In honour of her dedication Luke and his dad Edward, of The Esplanade, Fleetwood, have even put some M&S discount vouchers into her coffin “for the M&S in the sky that she will be expecting to find”.

Mrs Cowell, who was 68, died at home on Wednesday August 12, after battling cancer for two months.

Luke added: “We could literally have opened a branch of M&S in the house with the amount of stuff she bought, and she also loved just sitting with a coffee in the store cafe.

“For Christmas and birthdays the only safe bet was to buy her M&S vouchers. Even when she was poorly in Blackpool Victoria Hospital, she was delighted to hear there was an M&S there.”

Cafe staff from M&S Blackpool sent Mrs Cowell a gift and get well card when they heard of her illness.

Her funeral will be held at 1.15pm on Friday at St Peter’s Church in Fleetwood.

Store manager at M&S Blackpool Amanda Reynold said: “Carol was one of our most loyal customers and someone well-liked by all of the staff, so we are very saddened to hear this news.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Ellie Wilkes posted on Facebook: “Everyone at M&S cafe, Blackpool, is absolutely devastated to hear the news as Carol was such a lovely woman and always put a smile on our faces.

“She was definitely at her most content with her head in a book and a good hot chocolate! She’ll be missed.”

Susan Irving wrote: “I work at Manchester store and we have experienced similar ...and yes they become your friends..... Marks and Spencer has the most amazing customers and each one is very much valued.”