Businessman’s legacy continues to thrive

Tim Richardson, Liz Astin, Sue Winspear, Charlotte Whitehead, Paula Visker, Carolyn Rhea and Nick Henderson''w133913
Tim Richardson, Liz Astin, Sue Winspear, Charlotte Whitehead, Paula Visker, Carolyn Rhea and Nick Henderson''w133913

The legacy left by one of the town’s most prominent businessmen is thriving a year after his shock death.

Eddie Astin’s family, friends and colleagues were left stunned when the estate agent took his own life at his home on June 2 last year at the age of 59.

But, as the first anniversary of his death approaches, the business - which he founded and was to become his pride and joy - is looking to the future.

While Eddie’s widow, Liz is still the head of the company, day to day running of the business is looked after by Tim Richardson and Nick Henderson who worked at Astins with Eddie for many years.

Eddie founded Astin’s in 1992 after re-locating to Whitby from the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire where he grew up.

Although Tim and Nick conceded it had been a “difficult” first six months following the death of Eddie, the last six months had improved.

The team at Astin’s believe they are honouring Eddie’s memory and the business he spent 20 years building up - despite never really harbouring any intentions to become an estate agent.

Nick, now a senior property consultant, said: “When we heard the news we were completely shell-shocked about it.

“You think how can things go on, but they do.

“You think what would Eddie want and he would have wanted us to carry on and keep things running, which we did.

“It was very difficult last year but that is behind us.

“Me, Tim and the team are coming up with new ideas and there will be quite a few changes in the office.

“The day to day running is exactly the same but the figureheads of the company have changed.”

In the 12 months since his death, Astin’s has taken on extra members of staff and is planning a revamp of the Flowergate branch later this year.

The firm will also be making use of new technology to make things better for customers.

Astin’s has maintained its position as the most successful agent in the town and has over 100 properties on its books for sale.

Extra staff have also been taken on in the lettings department and holiday cottages side of the business.

An award winning development at Whitehall on Spital Bridge which was overseen by Eddie and wife Liz has also been completed this year too.

Nick said: “Last year, we maybe thought we might not have achieved the most sales but we did. People were a bit unsure as to whether to come and see us - that would happen with any other company.

“People have seen we are still here, still doing a cracking job and continuing what Eddie would have done.

“He would be looking down and giving us a pat on the back. There was a softer side to Eddie that people did not see outside the office.”

Eddie’s death shook the town with many believing the successful businessman was the man who had it all.

He lived life to the full, enjoyed fast cars and motorbikes, learnt to fly and was heavily involved with Whitby Rugby Club.

But he had been battling with depressionand was coming to terms with the death of father John just months before.

Eddie left daughter Harriet and twin boys James and George to first wife Judy and was step-father to Liz’s children, Xavier, Izy and Saskia. His mum Barbara has since moved back to West Yorkshire to be near her other son and Eddie’s younger brother Martyn.