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Tributes paid to ‘caring’ and ‘funny’ Penarth fifth generation fishmonger

A WELL-LOVED Penarth man who owned Ashtons fishmonger in Cardiff Market was “astute, witty and would do anything for anyone”, his family have said.

Jonathan Adams, died on Friday, May 21 at the age of 59 after a short illness.

As well as running Ashton’s fishmonger in Cardiff market, Jonathan was also known for being part owner of Potter’s Corner and president of the National Federation of Fishmongers for three years.

Emma Enos, Jonathan’s partner of 27 years, said there wasn’t a day that the pair didn’t speak to one another.  

Penarth Times: Emma and Jonathan have been together since 1993. Picture: Emma EnosEmma and Jonathan have been together since 1993. Picture: Emma Enos

“I was lucky enough to have over 27 years with him, and with the exception of recently when he was poorly, there wasn’t a day where we didn’t speak to each other,” she added.

Jonathan changed the Ashton fishmonger businesses around. Ashtons used to be around 80 per cent market trade – where the customers came from – but he soon realised that would change due to the bigger supermarkets.

So, he began to get involved in catering and supplying restaurants across South Wales, which now makes up the majority of the businesses.

Penarth Times: One of the last gigs Jonathan went to was the Genesis gig at Milton Keynes Bowl. Picture: Ashton fishmonger on FacebookOne of the last gigs Jonathan went to was the Genesis gig at Milton Keynes Bowl. Picture: Ashton fishmonger on Facebook

“Being a fifth generation fishmonger, he was very passionate about the businesses – he was in six days a week,” added Miss Enos.

“He might not have done full days in recent times but he was usually in first thing in the morning and then perhaps home by 10 or 11, but it was still a huge part of his life.

“He was very passionate about the staff and customers and getting it right.

“His father made him be a Saturday boy and made sure he learned how to do all the filleting and everything else.”

Jonathan was very big into horse racing – starting with the White Hart racing club – and more recently, with JJ Quinn, co-owned several horses with Christian Williams in a consortium – including Potter’s Corner who won the virtual grand national last year.

Penarth Times: Jonathan Adams - an active member of the sports clubs, particularly Glamorganshire Golf Club. Picture: Emma EnosJonathan Adams – an active member of the sports clubs, particularly Glamorganshire Golf Club. Picture: Emma Enos

Paying tribute to her partner, Miss Enos said: “Even when he was poorly, not only would he have restaurateurs ringing asking how he was but he would have individual customers, and I think that shows his passion but also how much he was thought of.

“He very much had personal relationships with regular customers, making sure they were looked after the same way he would be looking after a big restaurant.

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“Nothing was too much trouble for him, he was a stickler for detail and getting things right.

“If he was your friend, he was loyal but he’d tell you like it is and people just would gravitate towards him.

“It sounds cliché but you’d know when he had arrived and he would be the centre of attention.”

Jonathan has two brothers, Simon Adams and Nicky Adams, who currently still works at Ashfords in Cardiff.

Simon said he would often attend gigs around Penarth with Jonathan when they got a bit older.

“He got really into all of the New Wave and Punk stuff and that has been a huge influence on me even today,” he said.

“He was a very humorous man. He was into comedy in the sense that he was a really funny person.

“He loved life and was dead set on living his life in every sense of the word. He was astute, witty, and would do anything for anyone.”

The family understand that Jonathan was very well-known across the town and that many may want to pay their respects, but given that there are limited numbers allowed to attend the service they are asking for people not to turn up to the service unless invited.

They have made alternative arrangements to allow more people to remember Jonathan. Details of the service will be shared over the coming days. Family flowers only – donations in lieu of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

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