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Frome Cheese & Grain trustee and market organiser Derek Maguire has lost his battle with cancer and died on 5th January.
Derek was a champion of the Cheese & Grain and campaigned to keep it open five years ago when its future was uncertain.
Marketing manager at the Cheese & Grain, Tracey Rawlins said, “He was fiercely loyal and supportive of the community with high principles. He was liked and respected by all who knew him.”
Derek was the driving force behind the Cheese & Grain winning the prestigious national environmental award, the Green Market of the Year.
Tracey continued, “He managed the weekly Wednesday and monthly Saturday antiques markets at the Cheese and Grain for many years and was a colourful character who worked tirelessly to support the markets in Frome.”
Mel and Von Walton who traded with him for over 30 years at the markets both at the Cheese and Grain and previously in the old Market Hall said he was a Frome icon who will be dearly missed.
Karen Harley, Cheese & Grain office manager who had worked with Derek since 1998 said, “Derek was stoically supportive and loyal to traders and staff. He never failed to surprise us with his array of transport from a Sinclair C5 to a spotty van and always brought a smile to our faces with his colourful clothes.”
Ray Rhymes who worked with Derek on the markets added, “He was a wonderful, colourful character, who was willing to help with anything, big or small, and gave his time to helping others.”
The Cheese & Grain market traders and friends have held a collection and will plant a memorial tree and plaque in the garden beside the venue.
Derek’s funeral took place at Semington Crematorium on 25th January.