Main image: Graham was a fixture outside Connaught School on Melvin Square for 32 years
The community has come together to pay tribute to a popular local newspaper seller – an iconic part of the Melvin Square landscape for 32 years who passed away recently.
Knowle Wester Graham Brace who took over selling the Bristol Evening Post from his father was a well-known figure as people chatted to him outside Connaught School – until his retirement at 65.
Granddaughter Jodie Morse, who has started an online fundraiser to help the family pay his funeral costs, said they had been overwhelmed by all the lovely messages pouring in.
She said: “He was there every day, rain, sun and snow until he took retirement. That was his livelihood….He loved his job, he got to speak to everyone every day.
“We have had over 100 wonderful comments from people. With everyone he was loving and compassionate, he had time for even naughty children.
“He was one of those people you could get on with, it didn’t matter who you were.
“Granddad was a generous, kind person and always helping other people and used to do charity work. He and my nan Barbara were together for 41 years and devoted to each other and had a fantastic life and friends.
“He didn’t have any savings or bonds or anything – so we are trying to all pull together to do everything and anything we can. We appreciate every single donation and every comment.”
Online messages of condolence include Fay Martin who says: “Graham was a lovely guy. I did a paper round for him about 30 years ago. Won’t be the same not seeing him on Melvin selling his papers. RIP Graham. You’ll be sadly missed.”
And Gary Collins says: “Fond memories of him at Melvin all my life such sad news. RIP Gordy that’s what I always called him.”
Resident and Chair of Filwood Residents Association, Nick Haskins, also ran an online fundraiser for Graham.
He says: “I was a paperboy many years ago for his father and he took over from his dad. When kids came out of school, if there was any bullying he would stop in and he would chat to the kids. He was a really well-known character and a really nice chap.”
Graham, who was 73 when he died, was a keen skittles player in his spare time and played at Eagle House – winning a lot of a trophies.
The funeral will be on 1 December at South Bristol Crematorium at 10am with a wake afterwards at Eagle House Social Club where he loved to go – and to which the community is invited to say goodbye and come and celebrate his life.
To view the fundraiser for the family visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/grahambracesendoff