Tributes paid to a ‘traditional spirit of Norfolk’ who has died aged 102
- Credit: Archant
Normal for Norfolk star Desmond MacCarthy said tributes to his mother have been flooding in since her death at the age of 102.
Chloe MacCarthy, who starred with her son in the BBC TV documentary series, died on June 19 at Wiveton Hall.
The family have lived at the north Norfolk estate, near Cley next the Sea, since 1952.
She played herself in the series which highlighted her gentleman farmer son trying to keep the business going.
Her son said: 'She took the filming in her stride.
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'People were appreciative of her role from watching the TV series.
'Since her death people have been saying how marvellous she was.'
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He credited her with keeping the home going after the death of her husband Michael, her mother Prim, and her father Dick Buxton, all within three years of each other in the early 1970s.
He said: 'It would have been a very normal thing to do to sell Wiveton and move to some sensible house and get rid of any problems.
'She had no intention of giving up the home which had brought her such happiness.
'The garden here is an expression of her personality - from the walled garden to the enchanting sunk garden. Before the Second World War, with earlier owners, it had required eight gardeners to maintain it.
She managed it with just herself and Reggie Holman from Glandford.'
Brought up in the west of the county her son said she embodied the 'traditional spirit of Norfolk'.
Cley beach always figured largely in their lives with 'its cussed shingle, often icy waters, tumultuous waves, and occasional seal,' he said.
He also praised her love of fresh fruit and vegetables which led inadvertently to the dazzling success of the Wiveton Hall Cafe.
Her Norfolk roots go deep, he added. Her father's family were the Buxtons, and her grandmother lived in Cromer, where she would spend holidays.
On her mother's side she was descended from the Ralli family from the Greek island of Chios.
She was a debutante, was presented at court, and heard Hitler speak in Munich.
She met farmer Michael MacCarthy after the war, and they married in 1948.