A WELL-KNOWN York couple who ran a business in the city for many years have died within weeks of each other.

Businessman Michael Denton, 79, and his wife Mavis, 77, passed away in Dumfries, Scotland.

Michael founded the electrical shop Blackwell & Denton with his partner Bill Blackwell in 1978. The shop, which is still trading in Colliergate, York, became famous in York as the place to go to for vacuum cleaners.

Mavis joined the company a few years later as secretary and the couple ran the business until their retirement in 1997, when Michael’s brother Richard took over.

Richard, 69, who lives on Mill Lane, Wigginton, said: “My earliest memories are of the three of us growing up in Calf Close, Haxby, with our sister Ann.

“Michael was always an outdoors sort of person. He worked on local farms in his spare time whilst still a schoolboy, then after leaving school he qualified as a horticulturalist and went to work at the Dutch Nurseries for Coe Verhoef. That began a lifelong love of growing flowers.”

After retirement, Michael and Mavis moved to Southern Brittany in France where Michael, who was a trained horticulturalist, was able to indulge his love of growing flowers.

People came from far and wide to see his displays.

Following many happy years in France, they decided to return to the UK and their last home was overlooking Luce Bay in Scotland. Their neighbours are planning a collection to buy a bench overlooking the sea in memory of Michael and Mavis.

Michael was educated at St Wilfred’s and attended St George’s Secondary Modern in York. He then moved on to Askham Bryan College to study horticulture. Mavis attended Joseph Rowntree School, York, before starting work.

Mavis passed away suddenly on January 7, and Michael, who had not been in good health, passed away shortly afterwards on January 26. The couple were married at St Wilfred’s Church York, in 1964.

Michael leaves behind his sister Ann and brother Richard, while Mavis leaves behind her mother Tilly, 97, and sister Janet.

Their joint-funeral took place in Haxby, York, on February 16.