Obituary: Tributes to Nellie Hudson, guardian of Cromer church tower

A kind smile: Nellie Hudson cemented herself into Cromer's community

A kind smile: Nellie Hudson cemented herself into Cromer's community - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

She had the type of smile that reflected her “sweet and welcoming” nature. 

For Nellie Hudson, hospitality became second nature to her as she doted on her many nieces and nephews, as well as friends and family. 

From baking celebration cakes to taking payment from visitors wanting to climb up Cromer’s parish church tower, Mrs Hudson cemented herself in the seaside town’s community. 

Born Nellie Doreen Lown on February 22, 1931, in Suffield, near North Walsham, she was the only sister of three younger brothers. 

And it was from one of her brothers she was granted the nickname 'Girly', due to being both the only girl and his inability to say Nellie. She became affectionately known by the name and it stayed with her for life. 

Before passing her exams to attend North Walsham Girls' High School, she attended Colby Primary School, but unable to afford the uniform her parents sent her to North Walsham Secondary Modern instead. 

When she left there, she began working as a seamstress in Cromer earning 6p on a Saturday morning shift. 

Community stalwart: Nellie Hudson take part in many activities in Cromer to help the town

Community stalwart: Nellie Hudson take part in many activities in Cromer to help the town - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

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She married her husband, Gordon Hudson, on April 18, 1953. They lived in a flat on Prince of Wales Road in the coastal town and ran a grocery shop based opposite the bus stop during the 1960s. Later they moved to Salisbury Road, and Mr Hudson, became a lay-preacher. 

During this time, Mrs Hudson became very active in church life at St Peter and St Paul's, hosting prayer meetings and bible classes. She also worked on the rota system taking payment for visitors wanting to reach the top of the church’s tower, a role she did up until three years ago. 

Her niece, Deborah Vass, paid tribute to her aunty Girly. 

She said: “[She and her husband] were very devoted to each other. 

“They enjoyed each other’s company and would visit family in Plymouth and Dartmouth. 

“Unfortunately, their plans to retire together went up in smoke.” 

Mr Hudson died from a heart attack following an operation, six weeks before he was due to retire. He was aged 64. 

Nellie Hudson enjoyed spending time with her 11 nieces and nephews, as well as her great-nieces and great-nephews

A typical aunty: Nellie Hudson enjoyed spending time with her 11 nieces and nephews, as well as her great-nieces and great-nephews - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Mrs Hudson continued to be involved with the community and enjoyed making memories with her 11 nieces and nephews and their children – her great-nieces and great-nephews – enjoying celebrations together such as Cromer Carnival. 

She also delighted in helping to look after Mrs Vass’s dogs, baking cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings, as well as the lemon drizzle and Victoria sandwich cake for Cromer’s Victorian Tearoom when it was owned by Mrs Vass. 

She added: “She was active and spritely, and a wonderful person. 

“She was very much ingrained in the Cromer community, especially within the church, and was an avid cook who liked making cakes and scones. 

“She also helped with various functions throughout the year.

“When my son was younger, he used to say he wanted to be a 999 coastguard so he could go and live with his aunty Girly in Cromer. 

“She was the typical fun aunty and she was absolutely lovely. She was kind, generous, and a lovely, lovely lady who will be very much missed.” 

A great achievement: Neille Hudson was awarded a certificate for her efforts in the town

A great achievement: Neille Hudson was awarded a certificate for her efforts in the town - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

In April 2003, she was awarded a certificate from Cromer Town Council in recognition of her valued and outstanding contribution to the community of Cromer. 

And just last year she moved to Faldonside Lodge care home in Cromer where she enjoyed residing in the room next door to her sister-in-law Mabel, who died at the end of last year.  

Mrs Hudson died in her sleep on February 2, aged 90.

Her funeral will take place at Cromer Parish Church at noon on Thursday, March 3. Donations in her memory for Cromer Parish Church are welcomed c/o Cromer and District Independent Funeral Services, 32 West Street, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9DS or via online under funeral notices at www.cromeranddistrictfunerals.co.uk