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Sixth Generation

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CHARLES RAYMOND LILLINGTON KLITZ
08 October 1907 - 04 November 1996

 

Eldest son of Harold and Florence. Married Elsie May Granger Smith (17 May 1915 - 22 December 1979) on 22 December 1948

One daughter - Sally Madeleine - 14 September 1950 - to date

Raymond and Elsie's Wedding Day

Back row standing - Bill - Leslie - Marjorie - ? - Carol - ? - Bob - Grace Smith - Vicar - Betty
Seated - Mary - Raymond - Elsie - Mr Smith, Elsie's Father - Madge Clark - Florence - Harold - John Clark

Raymond and Elsie

Shop Picture Page
Here are a small selection of pictures showing the shop front, inside and the garden at 88 Hight Street Lymington as they must have looked in Raymond's tenure

 

FAREWELL BY BOB KLITZ

It was with great sorrow that we attended our dear cousin Raymond's funeral on 11th November 1996 and feel that his passing marks the end of a 200 year long era of Klitz family involvement within the community of Lymington.

Raymond was the last of five generations of K1itzes to manage the music business at 88 High Street before its closure in 1981, having taken over from our father, Leslie, upon his death in 1956.

The business was originally established in 1789 by our great, great grandfather, George Philip, a musician and Chelsea pensioner who, together with four of his 10 sons, toured south Hampshire giving concerts and supplementing his income as a carter, presumably specialising at the same time in the supply of musical instruments. Upon his death in 1839 one of these sons, Robert John took over the enterprise and was later to open under the name of R. Klitz & Son at 88 High Street Lymington. After Robert's death in 1899 his son William Lawson took charge, followed, upon his demise in 1923, by his son Leslie, who reverted to the original and historic name of Klitzes Music Warehouse and who, upon its advent and supplementary to, the existing piano, musical instrument, gramophone record and sheet music supplies, was to introduce the wireless as stock-in-trade. Thus, despite the desperate shortage of skilled tradesmen, the business survived the war under Leslie's direction. Peacetime did not lessen the struggle and bleak prospects continued for a couple of years. It was then, upon the coming of television and following the death of Phoebe, that Raymond, to our father's great delight, accepted his invitation to throw in his lot and become a partner.

Raymond, (who was never known as 'Ray' and hated any abbreviation of his name), was born and bred in Swanage with two younger sisters and after leaving school, circa 1923, went to live for a while with Leslie at '88' where he gained his first experience of the business. Leslie married in 1924 and a few years thereafter Raymond went to stay with Aunt Phoebe in Bushey Heath, Herts whilst attending the University of London. After graduation he secured an appointment with the Telegraph Condenser Company where he became a member of the design team until the outbreak of World War 2 when he was commissioned in the R.E.M.E. with the rank of captain and posted to anti-aircraft batteries on the east coast.

At the end of the war he returned to T.C.C. for a couple of years during which he met and married Elsie Granger Smith from the I.O.W. Upon joining the family firm they came to live with us at '88" where their daughter Sally was born.

During the ensuing years the business prospered under the booming T.V. trade and the dedicated support of staunch members of the staff, chiefly Don Samways, Hazel Houghton and Joan Sellick, whose steadfast loyalty to the very end will always be remembered with gratitude by my sisters Betty, Carol and myself and was, of course, most deeply appreciated by Raymond, who enjoyed the companionship of Hazel ('How') and Joan ('J. B.) till his very last days.

Also instrumental in the goodwill of the firm were other members of the staff from earlier years who included the late Sylvia Watson, the late Sid Pickett who, since 1920 assisted Leslie with the repair, overhaul and tuning of pianos etc. and the dedicated Miss Banfield whose later married name we cannot recall.
Then 'Rad' who was Raymond's 'aide-de-camp' for many years, and 'Vince' with whom he never lost touch. All that now remains is a treasure-house of memories and a blue plaque on the wall of 88 High Street.

Other friends of his to whom we would like to express our warm appreciation for their kindness and longstanding friendship with Raymond during his retirement years are Tony Thompson, with whom he sailed for many years and shared his interest in vintage motor cars; John Gaskell whose regular companionship he so enjoyed; the late Bill Lee; Betty Giles, of whom he used to speak so often and Nigel and Liz Pidsley who became his most esteemed friends through their many acts of great help and kindness. We also wish to thank Raymond's neighbours in Sarum Walk who regularly kept his garden tidy for him and kept a watchful eye over him during his last years.

Throughout his long span Raymond won a vast legion of acquaintances and friends through army days, the business (which later became simply Klitz Ltd.), the Rotary Club and his L.T.S.C. membership. Throughout many of those years he assumed a paternal affinity with our contemporary family friend since 1949, Mike Lawes, whose rare visits he came to treasure and who many years ago introduced him to his chum David Rose. David, in turn, was soon to become a regular soul-mate and the bond which developed between them was indeed akin to that of father and son.

We were gratified to see so many who knew Raymond at St Thomas Church on the 11th and only regret that time did not allow us to greet them all and thank them personally for turning out on that appropriately sad day of tribute.

Raymond with one of his cars

Our earliest memories of Raymond were of his visits to see us at Lymington from Bushey Heath in the late 1930s when he would arrive in his 10hp Rover and take colour photographs of us in the garden - unprecedented then. He was a passionate motorist all his life and a superb driver to whom handling a car was instinctive. We knew him quite well even then but during his years at 88 we came to appreciate and respect his fine example, reminiscent of an older brother and along with our late brother Bill we enjoyed a strong sense of family unity and security.

Two views

Latterly his car was his wings and he flew far and wide about the country on the slightest pretext, calling upon us all regularly until his eyesight finally failed him only this year. Though austere in his outlook, his steadfast family loyalty, courteous manner and witty charm, especially with the ladies, were all hallmarks of a patrician background which so endeared him to those who knew him.

We shall miss him and his cussed independence and the warmth of his greeting as he swept in the front door without ever knocking, sure in his welcome which he never wore out.

Thank you Raymond for all you did for us all and all you meant to us all.

Goodbye, old chap and God Bless.

Robert. E. Klitz
Hayling Island

Raymond with some Land girls


THE LYMINGTON TIMES November 1996

A member of one of Lymington's longest serving businesses, before he sold out on retirement in 1981, Raymond Klitz has died at the age of 89. He suffered a stroke on Wednesday 30 November, collapsing in the doctor's surgery, before being rushed to Southampton General Hospital, where he died on Monday morning.

The family's history with the town dates back to the music and carter's business founded in 1789 by George Philip Klitz, who had earlier enlisted with the British Armed Forces in his native Germany. He was allotted to the Flintshire Militia and it was while he was stationed near Lymington that he met Miss Elizabeth Lane of Lepe, leading to their marriage in St. John's Church, Boldre, in September 1801.
A lover of music, George arranged concerts in such places as Southampton, Portsmouth Romsey and the Isle of Wight, with his four musician sons taking an active part.

Following George's death, it was son Robert who started the Lymington shop at 88 High Street around 1850, as R. Klitz & Son, which also sold musical instruments and sheet music.

Raymond was born in Swanage, one of three children of Harold Klitz. Following his schooling at Swanage and then Gillingham, Dorset, he progressed to the University of London and completed a piano course before being called up for the second World War service with the Royal Engineers, never venturing further than Norwich.

Raymond in uniform

After the hostilities Raymond joined the TCC condensers company in London, until in 1948 he joined his Uncle Leslie Klitz at the Lymington business, known at that time as Klitzes Music Warehouse.
In addition to musical instruments and paraphernalia they sold radios, charged up the radio accumulators and had two vans servicing radios around the area. At one time they employed six staff, including a piano tuner.
Klitz were the first to sell television sets in the town, around 1950, when sets picked up weak signals from the Wenvoe station in Wales before the opening of Rowbridge on the Isle of Wight. Sales escalated at the time of the Coronation in 1953.

Raymond finally retired and sold the shop premises to the Freeman, Hardy and Willis shoe retailers in 1981.

Two years earlier his wife, Elsie had died. She worked indefatigably at Lymington Hospital with the League of Friends, where Raymond was elected chairman and then President.

He was also a keen member of Lymington Town Sailing Club and belonged to Lymington Rotary Club since 1951, three years after it's inception. He served as the Rotary Club President in 1956 /1957

Raymond, who lived in Sarum Walk, is survived by a daughter, Mrs Sally Whitlock, of Bournemouth and a grandson.

The funeral service will be held on Monday 11 November at 2.15 pm in St Thomas's Church.

The family request that any donations go to the R.N.L.I. c/o Diamond & Son, funeral directors, Lymington.

 

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Charles Raymond Lillington