Tributes have been paid after the death of a much-loved Irvine shopkeeper as she was laid to rest last week.

Beloved mother Jay Singh, well known to customers of the Premier Irvine Late Shop in Bank Street, sadly passed away aged 54 last month after a long battle with cancer – three years after the death of husband Paul.

And customers paid their respects ahead of the funeral last week [Tuesday, May 3] with a procession passing by the shop at around 9.15am before a service for friends at Dreghorn Crematorium.

Paying tribute on the Times Facebook page, Gary McGuinness said: “She was lovely. Always had a chat and a smile when you were in shop. She’ll be sadly missed.”

Claire Owens said: “Lovely lady, so sad to hear this. Thinking of all the family.”

Amanda Jane Robinson said: “Such a lovely lady. Jay was my first ever boss back when I was 14/15. She was so kind and always had a smile. Sending my love to her family.”

Gillian Sarginson Pratt said: “So sad to Hear this. She was always lovely. Condolences to the family xx,” while Davie Robson said: “Always had that smile on her face when you entered the shop she was a diamond RIP Jay.”

Daughter Harjit Shergill Sapkota paid tribute to her mother and thanked everyone for their moving tributes after her parents moved from Birmingham to run the Irvine shop 33 years ago.

She said: “It was such a shock. It has just been manic, we’ve been trying to run the business and deal with that at the same time.

“My mum got diagnosed the year of my dad passing away so because of Covid she’s just been at home, she’s not really been able to get out. Over the past six months her health has deteriorated.

“She’s been here for the past 33 years, she got married to my dad and then they came up here and were running the family business my grandparents started.

“Everyone in the community knows her. Just reading the messages, it was just really heartfelt that everyone said the same thing about how she always had a smile on her face and always had time for people. Being here for 30-plus years she got to see different generations as well. It’s touching how so many in the community have responded.

“No matter what was going on in the world she always had time for everybody, she was committed to her work.

“One of the things she said before she passed away was that ‘I wanted everyone to wear bright colours because I wanted everyone smiling and cheering’ and just to celebrate her life. She said, ‘I don’t want the whole doom and gloom and black and white’, so we just tried to portray that as much as possible.

“We would like to say thank you to all the customers, we’ve been overwhelmed with all the cards and flowers. It’s just so nice to see how many people that she connected with.”