Sidmouth businessman loses cancer battle

BOOKLOVER Andrew Muir, who gave up his Sidmouth shop BookLife in June after learning he had lung cancer, died in Sidmouth Hospital on Friday.

BOOKLOVER Andrew Muir, who gave up his Sidmouth shop BookLife in June after learning he had lung cancer, died in Sidmouth Hospital on Friday.

Andrew, 62, moved to Sidmouth in 1990 and had run the High Street shop for six years. He had previously worked in the packaging industry in sales.

A keen fisherman, his favourite spot was Hogsbrook Lake, Woodbury, and, said daughter Verity, 26: "There will be a memorial match there for him every year."

In January he and his wife Carolyn travelled to Australia to visit Andrew's 93-year-old mother Joan, who he hadn't seen for 10 years, at her home in Sydney, as well as visiting her brother and family in Queensland.

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Andrew lived in Sydney for eight years after going to Australia at 18 in 1966. His parents followed him there.

Mrs Muir said: "That trip was meant to be, it was a fabulous holiday."

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She added: "He had a lot of people that knew him and a lot of local people came in to buy books.

"We had four wonderful years together. I still can't believe he has gone."

She praised Sidmouth Hospiscare and hospital staff for their care of her husband.

Andrew, from Sidford Road, relinquished the lease on BookLife after his diagnosis, saying he wanted to enjoy his time left with his family and "do a bit of fishing."

Fishing friend Des Church, 78, from Malden Road, said he and Andrew had been friends for 18 years and met while fishing at Hogsback Lake.

"I saw him sat on his own, like I was, and went and had a chat with him and

we have fished together since," said Des, who, like Andrew, worked in the packaging industry.

"Andrew liked competition fishing while I would rather be on my own. When we joined a syndicate at Uplyme in 1991 he caught a 35lb carp on his first visit."

Des said Andrew teased him about playing snooker while colour blind because of distinguishing the green and brown balls, but added: "He envied me because I potted them and he couldn't."

Sidmouth author Sheila Luxton knew Andrew for eight years and used shelves in his shop to sell second-hand books.

She said: "He had a very dry sense of humour, he was a great friend and would help anyone if he could.

"He and I had a special interest in Polar exploration and would talk about Captain Scott. I miss him greatly."

Mark Chapman of Paragon Books said: "I was very sorry to hear the news. He loved books and was a dedicated and enterprising bookseller."

Andrew's funeral will take place at 11.15am on Wednesday, September 30 at Exeter Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations for Sidmouth Hospice are welcome.

Pic: Andrew Muir, who died on Friday

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