Sportsman and proprietor remembered

John Truss
John Truss

Former Banbury family business proprietor John William Truss has died at the age of 81 after a three-year illness.

Mr Truss, the only son of William and Hilda Truss, was born in Banbury and lived in the area all his life.

He owned and managed – with the help of nine staff – the fish, poultry, game and greengrocery shop in Parsons Street. It was founded in 1921 by his grandfather, well known as the man who brought fish and chips to town.

When Mr Truss left school and went into the family business, he remembered having to go to the station because all the fish came by train.

As the business expanded, Mr Truss recalled how on the Thursday and Good Friday each Easter, customers queued way down the street. At one time he supplied hotels, pubs and cafes in Banbury and much further afield.

Customers from the surrounding villages would send their butlers, housekeepers or chauffeurs to collect their orders, causing friction with the traffic wardens. Mr Truss spoke many times about the busy weeks leading up to Christmas, when about 600 birds, many still alive, would arrive from near and far.

He was a keen sportsman, first at school and later while playing for Easington Sports FC. His dazzling left wing exploits were reported many times in the local papers.

In 1961 he joined Tadmarton Heath Golf Club and although he had not been able to play recently he remained a social member.

He was part of the team which won the Oxford Times Foursomes, reached the last eight of the Evening News Tournament and went through to the semi-finals of the Johnnie Walker Mixed Foursomes with his wife.

Mr Truss was a keen caravanner and he and his wife were recently recognised by the Caravan Club for their 50 years membership. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, to whom he was married for 56 years, children Mark and Julia and grandchildren James, Thomas, Fiona and Justin.