Builder who worked on number of Norfolk landmarks dies aged 71

The family of Richard Blyth described him as "the best"

The family of Richard Blyth described him as "the best" - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

The family of a builder from mid-Norfolk, who worked on a number of famous Norfolk landmarks, has paid tribute following his sudden death from a brain aneurysm. 

Richard Thomas Blyth, of Foxley, was well-known within the Foulsham area where he was born in May 1950. 

Later, his family moved to Holt and he attended the Georgian town’s primary school before Beeston Hall prep school and Gresham’s School, where he preferred sport to academic studies. 

He met his wife Gillian in Barclays Bank in Aylsham, and their first date was at a builders’ dinner dance at The Norwood Rooms, Norwich. They married a year later and moved to Reepham to build their dream home. They had two children, Thomas and Anna. 

Richard Blyth, of Foxley, enjoyed travelling with his wife Gillian

Richard Blyth, of Foxley, enjoyed travelling with his wife Gillian - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Mr Blyth and his brother Michael played hockey for Norfolk Wanderers where he was club captain. He loved hockey and also ran a youth team. 

The brothers joined the family firm T. H. Blyth and Sons Ltd, established in 1873 in Foulsham. They took over the business after their father Tom retired and completed many building-works in Norfolk and Suffolk.  

This included working on National Trust properties Oxborough, Blickling, and Felbrigg Hall, the Norfolk and Norwich Institute for the Blind, GP surgeries, schools, the Priscilla Bacon Lodge, St Michaels Hospital, Well’s Cottage Hospital, Ellacombe Residential Care, agricultural buildings, village halls, private homes, and shops. 

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In 2010, Mr Blyth retired to spend time with his family. He was part of Reepham Rotary Club, Bintree Bowls Club, and Fakenham Gallows, and a volunteer for Bawdeswell Community Car Scheme and Foxley Village Hall. 

Mr and Mrs Blyth enjoyed travelling and often drove to Sweden to visit their son and his family. Mr Blyth had been planning one last road trip for 2022. 

His family said: “Richard was well known in the community. He was always willing to offer his help but his family came first and he was very proud of them all. 

“He was the best friend, husband, father, and grandfather that we could have ever asked for. He ensured we had every opportunity we wanted in life. We miss him every day.” 

Mr Blyth died earlier this year, aged 71. He leaves behind his wife, children, and grandchildren Izzy, Luki, Dan, and Zoe.


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