KEITH Anderson, who was one of the Grimsby area’s leading shellfish merchants for many years, has died at the age of 68.
He ran a nationwide wholesale business from the neighbouring town of Cleethorpes, supplying Billingsgate Fish Market in London and many of the country’s top restaurants.
He also exported shellfish to Spain and Belgium. His customers numbered the great and the good, the most notable being the Queen.
A renowned expert on all types of shellfish, he was would sometimes receive a call from the Buckingham Palace ‘Royal Appointment’ shellfish supplier in Norfolk asking for lobster and Keith would duly supply the firm, knowing its final destination, always ensuring it was the best.
He purchased most of the his crabs and lobsters from east coast shellfish ports such as Bridlington, only importing Canadian lobsters during the out-of-season winter months.
He ran a remarkable fish business. His retail outlet in Cleethorpes regularly attracted hundreds of people every week looking for quality crabs, lobsters, cockles and scallops.
The business was started by his father, Bill Anderson – who also owned four Grimsby-based fishing boats – at the end of the Second World War.
One day a buyer from Ross Group (Now Young’s Seafoods) suggested that he should set up as a wholesaler supplying the merchanting trade.
So he began boiling crabs and trade began to grow. Keith began working for his father as a boy and very quickly learned the trade. He took it over completely about 30 years ago.
It was always said that Keith Anderson could tell instantly whether a crab or lobster was any good or not.
Keith handed over the business to one of his sons, Kevin, but the economic downturn following the 2008 banking collapse forced the closure of many restaurants and it was decided to end the business.
Keith leaves a wife, Gail, and two other sons, Keith junior and Scott. The funeral will be held at Grimsby Crematorium on Friday 28 November at 1.40 pm.