At 93, Clary keeps island stocked with fruit and veg in lockdown

A 93-year-old islander has been helping to keep Guernsey going through lockdown.

Clary Lesbirel, who will be 94 in June, has been working in the store, weighing produce, and making deliveries for the family fruit and vegetable business.

Mr Lesbirel works seven days a week, apart from Sundays if it is raining.

He thinks his sense of humour is one of the things that keeps him going.

‘I’m always joking with the customers,’ he said.

‘Especially those I know well and we have a good laugh.

Clary Lesbirel (right) with his son Peter. (29302295)

‘If I’m talking to a customer and another one I know drives in, I’ll shout out: "I thought I told you that you weren’t to come here any more," to see what reaction I get,’ he said.

Son Peter, who is an ardent Sunderland fan, and who looks after the fruit and veg stall which has been at La Route de Plaisance, St Peter’s, since 1984, is a chip off the old block.

‘He tells customers that the Guernsey Sunderland supporters is club is having a meeting tonight – in a telephone box,’ said Mr Lesbirel senior.

Lesbirel's Fruit, Veg and Flower stall at La Route de Plaisance, St Peter's. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29302298)

Mr Lesbirel has had two heart attacks, the last one about three years ago.

Both required trips to Southampton Hospital and he had stents fitted on the first occasion.

He has been growing fruit and vegetables since he was 19.

Clary Lesbirel is 93 and has been working throughout lockdown to provide people with fresh fruit and veg. (29307839)

At one time he grew potatoes in most of the fields at the top of Pleinmont. For about 20 years he also drove buses, working for Guernsey Motor and The Greys.

‘I was still growing then and my wife and I would go out in the evenings delivering two vans full of fruit and vegetables to customers.’

He enjoys making deliveries to his loyal customer base which includes The Guernsey Cheshire Home.

‘If I’m not joking, people ask me what’s wrong,’ he said.

Clary Lesbirel (right) with his son Peter. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29307844)

Mr Lesbirel does not limit his activities to the fruit and vegetable business.

His sister-in-law, Valerie Lesbirel, often helps out at the fruit and veg stall and while she is doing that he cuts her lawns and does jobs in her garden.

‘Mowing lawns is my favourite hobby,’ said Mr Lesbirel who has two sit-on mowers including one that is diesel powered.

‘I don’t believe in retirement and as long as I can breathe and walk I’ll keep going.’

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News