Bert Silvester, well-known to generations of East Oxford residents for running the 'delightfully cluttered' Silvester's Stores on Magdalen Road, has died aged 92.

The war veteran began trading from the age of nine with his father and eventually ran his own shop, which became a hardware emporium in the city, for more than 60 years.

His son Stuart said he would long be remembered in East Oxford for his cheerful service and endless chatty stories of bureaucratic idiocy and daft customers.

He recalled one story about a man who had made a dog-flap so large that a burglar came in and stole his television.

Albert Silvester was born on August 25, 1924 at 88 Magdalen Road, East Oxford to parents Emily and Charles, a cobbler who sold everything from buttons to paraffin.

He grew up in the area with his older siblings Ernest and Joan and went to St Mary and St John Primary School in Hertford Street and later Cowley St John Boys school - which is now East Oxford Community Centre.

From the age of nine he helped his father, who ran a shop at their home address, with a ten-mile delivery run with a handcart, often hiring a horse and cart.

After leaving school at 15 he bought a second-hand printing press and sold personalised note-paper expanding to general printing by the outbreak of the Second World War.

Too young to sign up he volunteered as a messenger joining the Royal Army Service Corps, spending the war in fuel and lubrication distribution depots in Britain, France and the Middle East.

While abroad he contracted malaria and needed 18 months back home to recover, selling his printing equipment as he was too ill to continue.

When he recovered he worked at his father's shop where he would meet his future wife Gwen - and using money from his printing equipment and his demob gratuity he bought the 88 Magdalen Road shop from his father's landlord.

At the time his father also rented the shop-front at 27 Magdalen Road and when Harry Wright, the baker at the back of the shop died in 1952 Bert bought that shop too and set up Silvester's Stores.

Bert and Gwen married on August 22, 1953 at Iffley Church and they had a son, Stuart in 1966.

She continued to work at the shop and the pair turned it into a hardware emporium which they would run for the next 50 years.

In the mid-1960s after his father died Bert turned 88 Magdalen Road into a fruit and vegetable shop but it later closed in 1983 becoming a warehouse for the hardware store.

In October 2004 the couple, then in their 80s, were assaulted by three masked men who broke into their flat above the shop demanding money.

Gwen died suddenly in 2009 and Bert continued at the shop with his son Stuart for six more years before retiring after a mini-stroke.

In October he moved into a care home and he died peacefully on November 15.

He is survived by his son Stuart and his niece Val.

His funeral service will take place at Rose Hill Cemetery Chapel on 7th December 2016 at 11.30am.