Ashmore Park Stunned! As Popular Shop Keeper Dies.

Raj Kumar was Ashmore Park’s very own hardware hero! He was without a doubt a legend locally that was up there with Ronnie Barkers own cult shop keeper Arkwright!

It was only recently when we were discussing the WIRE awards with Raj, that he told me he had been working on the estate for 32 years.

He was a very proud man, a nice man, he put his customers first.

There are so many residents who can tell you of his personal kindness, and his cheerful demeanour. What Raj had done for them, how he had gone out of his way to give customer service. Raj Kumar was a great man, a kind man, a lovely man, in his shop and outside his shop.

His customers were from right across Wolverhampton and further.

Raj’s shop was an ‘emporium of delight’! It was full of goods and widgets! Raj knew where everything was, he believed serving his customers was important, and he told me he had worked hard over the years to win his customers respect.

I told him then that he was a most popular man, I took his photo, and he fell about laughing!

I know he was very moved that so many people had nominated him for the Wire Award. He didn’t win it, but really he didn’t need a trophy to underline the fabulous relationship he had with his customers.
Mary and I were in Wales on Saturday on holiday, when the news started to filter through on that something serious had happened to Raj Kumar. I was as Mary was, stunned and shocked at the outcome, as is and still is, Ashmore Park.

I know that there are many who would like to see something being, made or erected that would signify what a special man Raj was for Ashmore Parkers. My advice is to look and discuss and give a little time to think about what everyone can do.
In the meantime perhaps as Reverend Sam has indicated to me, we could hold a gathering outside his shop on Saturday? to remember Raj, and his own very unique style he had developed. I will speak to Rev Sam about this idea which I think is a real good one, and I will let people know via social media, if it is too happen.

I know Raj Kumar was a special man to his family. We also will miss him, the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade will never be quite the same again with the passing of Raj Kumar our own and now legendary hardware shop owner.

Raj will be long remembered here on Ashmore Park, and Mary and I want to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to his immediate family and his friends. Rest in Peace Raj Kumar we are all far richer from knowing you, and you will never ever be forgotten by your friends, family and customers.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more