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Popular owner of Canterbury vintage clothing shop Revivals dies


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A popular businesswoman who ran a vintage clothing store in the city centre for more than 30 years has died.

Debbie Barwick headed up Revivals in St Peter’s Street, Canterbury, and was involved in local politics.

Debbie Barwick, who ran vintage clothing shop Revivals, was well known in Canterbury's city centre
Debbie Barwick, who ran vintage clothing shop Revivals, was well known in Canterbury's city centre

Born in Harbledown and educated in Canterbury, Debbie launched her shop 33 years ago.

Customers from across the world and celebrities flocked to the store, including Adam Ant, Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof and Madness frontman Suggs.

Friend Lynn Brown has paid tribute to Ms Barwick on behalf of friends and family following her death on September 29 after a “short illness”.

“She had a passion for vintage clothes, particularly those from the 1960s,” she said.

“Revivals was featured in many publications, including the New York Times and the Lonely Planet Guide. Local author Julie Wassmer featured it in her Whitstable Pearl series.

Debbie Barwick outside vintage clothing shop Revivals in St Peter's Street, Canterbury, which she ran for 33 years. Picture: Chris Davey
Debbie Barwick outside vintage clothing shop Revivals in St Peter's Street, Canterbury, which she ran for 33 years. Picture: Chris Davey

“Debbie took an interest in politics and was very single-minded and focused in pursuing her goals, organising petitions and making speeches at council meetings.

“Though small in stature, she was a force to be reckoned with.

“She was keen for her shop to continue to thrive. In her own words, ‘I can’t save myself, but I can save my little shop’. The shop will continue as a fitting tribute to her memory.”

Before entering the retail industry, Ms Barwick, who had a son, was a commentator for betting shops before working at department store Ricemans.

She led the Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance and was known for her long-running campaign against the Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), which aims to boost footfall.

She had not worked in the shop since she fell ill in January.

Revivals will now be taken on by Zoe Brear, who has helped run the shop for about 20 years.

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