A MUCH loved trader who ran an electrical store for more than 20 years died suddenly at the weekend.

Ray Scroggins, who was 75, the long time proprietor of Deans’ Electrical store, in St James's Street, Brighton, died at home.

He had been working only last week but took the unusual step of closing early on Tuesday, leaving a note on his door with the message “I don’t feel too good. Ta. Hope to be open on Wednesday.”

Tributes have poured in yesterday for the shop owner who had ran Dean's since the early 1990s.

Barry Kingston, who was a neighbour of Mr Scroggins in Lavender Street, said he was always friendly and never took a holiday.

He said: “He was open six days a week, from 8.30am to 6pm, and he only closed for 45 minutes a day so he could do his shopping and his banking. I used to see him from my kitchen window every morning at 7.45am before he headed to open the shop. That's even though he didn’t open until 9am and it only took him a couple of minutes to get there.”

Mr Kingston noticed the note on his door last week and said each morning the day had been crossed out and replaced with the following day.

Mr Kingston added: “He must have been coming in and changing it".

He said: “Ask anyone on St James's Street, everyone knew him and there is no-one with a bad word to say about him.

"He was famous for being the man you could go to for one of something, not like the big supermarkets where you can only get six or twelve of things like lightbulbs. And it was all oldie worldie stuff he had. He was an institution."

Gill Andrews, a hairdresser at G.A in St James's Street, had known Ray for more than 30 years and cut his hair.

She said: “He was a specialist. You won’t get another like him.”

"Anyone who knew him will remember him as the man you went to if you needed anything: lightbulbs, needles for record players, you name it, he had it. "He was always helpful, fixing lamps for the old ladies and that, taking them apart, putting them back together and he’d only ever charge about three quid."

She added: “Once when I had popped in to see him I just happened to mention that I needed a new toilet seat for my studio.

"The next thing he is out the back rummaging around and he produces this brand new toilet seat. God he was funny, he just had everything. There aren't too many more like him around now.”