‘Pakefield’s Del Boy’ hailed as loving dad and huge character after death
PUBLISHED: 15:41 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 23 September 2020
Loving tributes have been paid to “Pakefield’s Del Boy”, a 71-year-old businessman who “never left his family wanting for anything”.
“Local wheeler dealer” Billy Carr was the eldest of three brothers, attending Pakefield Primary and then the Alderman Woodrow School - now East Point Academy.
He passed away at Loddon Staithe after an accident involving his beloved cruiser.
His daughter Tracey Carr-McKenna, 47, summed up his lifestyle in a sentence: “His day consisted of him going to the fishermen’s wharf on a morning to see what they’d caught, and then roaming around Pakefield pubs on his vintage mobility scooter.”
According to Mr Carr’s first wife Jill Winship, 71, his dream was to be a “millionaire businessman” - and that’s exactly what he turned out as. She said: “He was naughty at school, and could usually be found at the tobacconist round the corner rather than in class - buying up the stuff to sell on at a profit.”
Mr Carr got his first job as a fisherman, but joined the Merchant Navy soon after - working his way up to become a driller and travelling to Ghana, Egypt, Iran and the Far East.
A “keen adventurer”, Mr Carr took his wife and children - Mrs Carr-McKenna and Toni Dale, 48 - to Malta between 1980-1984 while he worked on the rigs off the North African coast.
When they returned, he focused on expanding his business and property portfolio.
Between 1986 and his death, Mr Carr owned a DIY store on All Saints Road, The Kevill Arms, The Trowel and Hammer pub and the fish and chip shop next door, the old Jay Dene caravan park and more than a dozen flats.
He was also landlord of The Carlton Pub.
“My dad said whatever he thought and didn’t hold back”, said his daughter Mrs Dale. “He was a huge character - always out finding a new business venture and meeting new people.
“He was Pakefield’s Del Boy.
“He never did anything by the book. When we were at school, he’d try to drop us off in this ridiculous Silver Shadow Rolls Royce and we’d make him park round the corner so nobody would see.”
Father-of-two and grandfather-of-three, Mr Carr “fulfilled every need” his family could ever have.
“My daughter Daisy has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Dad bought a rundown bungalow, and with his brother fitted it out with rails and hoists to meet all her needs. I’ll be forever grateful for that,” said the younger of his daughters.
For Mr Carr’s brother Paul, 58, Pakefield will be a “duller place” without his sibling.
“He was just so much fun - and none of his friends or family wanted for anything when he was around”, Mr Carr said. “The thing he desperately wanted was a cruiser, so that he could sail around the Broads’ with his mates or head off to Europe on holiday.
“He’d only bought the boat he died on a month before. It was called “Bella Primavera”, and we were supposed to be going round Spain on it over the Winter.”
At first, after Mr Carr’s death on September 6, his daughters wanted nothing to do with the boat on which their father passed away.
But now, they’ve decided to keep it as a family, renaming it ‘Billy Bouy’ in his memory.
Mrs Dale said: “Dad would have wanted us to keep his memory alive. We’re going to look after his businesses too.”
Mr Carr’s sister-in-law, Jennie Cully, 57, said the problem was that “everyone thought Billy was invincible”.
“He made it through cancer, and a whole load of other health problems. It would never have suited Billy to spend the end of his life lying around in hospital. Nothing could keep him down.”
His brother said: “Apparently Billy fell between two boats and got trapped - but the details of what exactly happened aren’t clear as none of us were there.
“We will have to wait for the coroner’s report to bring us any closer to finding out how he ended up in the water.”
On October 2, a horse and carriage procession will make its way from Silverwood Close to the Jolly Sailors - Mr Carr’s favourite pub - and then on to Pakefield Church for the ceremony.
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