Wealthy heiress’ collection including 500 pairs of shoes is sold after her death aged 89

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The secret life of a handbag hoarder, who almost single-handedly kept her local high street afloat by spending £1,000 a week on upmarket fashion, has been revealed after her death.

Jenny Simpson, an heiress who inherited a large family fortune, died aged 89 in the coastal Suffolk town of Aldeburgh she loved in June this year.

She was known to splash the cash in the bright lights of London and New York, but an obituary described her as being ‘devoted to her home town’, where she lived for more than three decades.

Jenny Simpson, an heiress who inherited a large family fortune, died aged 89 in the coastal Suffolk town of Aldeburgh she loved in June this year. Pictured: The hoarder's stash of clothes

Jenny Simpson, an heiress who inherited a large family fortune, died aged 89 in the coastal Suffolk town of Aldeburgh she loved in June this year. Pictured: The hoarder’s stash of clothes

She was known to splash the cash in the bright lights of London and New York, but an obituary described her as being 'devoted to her home town', where she lived for more than three decades

She was known to splash the cash in the bright lights of London and New York, but an obituary described her as being ‘devoted to her home town’, where she lived for more than three decades

Miss Simpson would spend hundreds of pounds locally in ladies’ outfitters, but was rarely seen in any of the expensive clothes she bought on a weekly basis, the Times reports.

Instead, they just piled up across three houses she owned, with a collection of around 500 pairs of mainly unworn shoes found among her effects after her death.

The haul is now being auctioned off to raise money for her beloved local independent cinema, where she would watch every new release. 

Some £8,000 has already been raised, with the complex’s staircase and top floor packed out with boxes and rails of her hats, handbags, dresses, coats and jumpers, donated by her family.

The mountain of goods lying in Aldeburgh cinema (pictured) represents barely a third of her valuable possessions

The mountain of goods lying in Aldeburgh cinema (pictured) represents barely a third of her valuable possessions

Back across her homes, which includes a cottage set back from the path, and the house directly in front, brought to offer her even more privacy, there is more evidence of barely-touched treasures, from old-fashioned stationery, bags of makeup and bedsheets still in their plastic.

The mountain of goods lying in Aldeburgh cinema represents barely a third of her valuable possessions, many of which sit in a garage waiting to be sorted, though some has just had to be sold for ‘rag’ by weight. 

Unmarried, Miss Simpson enjoyed attending parties but seldom invited her friends over to her home, while she was also known to make frequent crossings on the QE2, which she called ‘the Boat’.

Pictured is the outside of Aldeburgh cinema in Suffolk, where the mountain of clothes and shoes are stored

Pictured is the outside of Aldeburgh cinema in Suffolk, where the mountain of clothes and shoes are stored

She would come up from the capital for the weekend in the 1960s as a ‘chic career girl’ before her fashion tastes moved towards ‘country conservative’, friends told the Times. 

But it was Aldeburgh she loved, and where her legacy will remain, as friends and neighbours snap up the goods she secretly stashed for decades. 

A spokesman for the trust running the cinema told MailOnline: ‘Aldeburgh Cinema is extremely grateful to the family of the late Jenny Simpson for donating a quantity of clothing which we are selling to boost cinema funds. 

‘We are being assisted by a number of local volunteers.’

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