Family pay tribute to Robins Pie & Mash queen
- Credit: Julie Allpress
Tributes have been paid by the family of east London pie and mash queen June Robins, after she died last week.
Her daughter, Julie Allpress, said her mum was a “witty and wonderful lady” who always had time for everyone.
June opened her first Robins Pie & Mash shop in Upton Park, Newham, more than 50 years ago, and now there are stores in Wanstead, Basildon, Southend, Chingford and Romford, and her son, Thomas runs a factory in Loughton that supplies pie and mash for big companies including Asda and Iceland.
Julie, 55, told the Recorder: “She was an amazing woman, and a formidable businesswoman.
“She was kind and caring, she was loved by everyone.
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“I was blessed to have her as a mum, and anyone who was her friend was lucky to have her.
“She was an incredibly loyal friend.
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“She was a fantastic mum, she was very, very supportive, and would say ‘just go for it’ when it came to business.
“She would always help everyone out. If someone came into the store and was a bit hard up she would tell them not to worry and would help them as much as she could.
“We’ve had some amazing support, and lots of lovely messages from customers and anyone who knew my mum.
“She loved all her grandchildren and great grandson.
“The whole family is absolutely devastated, and we’re heartbroken, but we have to do our best to stay strong because that is what she would have wanted.”
Not just popular amongst locals, June’s shops were the favourite spot for a number of celebrities, and her daughter said actor Billy Murray, and the EastEnders and The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) casts were all regulars in the shops.
Julie added: “Her customers would follow her from shop to shop, they all loved her so much.
“They would go wherever she opened a new store, and she always remembered them, and I’m sure she will be remembered by them all too.
“My mum will be a hard act to follow.”
June was with the love of her life Tommy Allpress for more than 60 years. They were inseparable until Tommy died two years ago.
“It was unbelievable the amount of love they had for each other, she was his only love, and from the moment they met they were always together,” said Julie.
June, mother of Julie, Thomas and Melanie, grandmother to eight, and great grandmother, died on Tuesday, March 12 from pneumonia aged 81, and her daughter said she will be sadly missed.