Tributes paid to generous community champion dubbed ‘Mrs Cromer’

Veteran councillor Vera Woodcock with the medal for 60 years' service she was presented with durign

Veteran councillor Vera Woodcock with the medal for 60 years' service she was presented with durign Cromer's Jubilee celebrations. Picture: DAVE ROBERTS - Credit: Archant

A community hero who dedicated her life to helping others, and championing her home town of Cromer, has died at the age of 86.

Vera Woodcock as a police constable. Picture: SUBMITTED

Vera Woodcock as a police constable. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Vera Woodcock - dubbed 'Mrs Cromer' by friends - served as a town councillor for 61 years, was pivotal in establishing Cromer's annual Christmas lights celebrations and instigated the Cromer honours and North Norfolk District Council civic awards.

The grandmother-of-four was also an active member of several local groups throughout her lifetime, including Cromer in Bloom, Cromer youth club, Cromer Carnival and the Goldsmiths Trust - which gives grants to students from the town starting at Norwich City College or further afield.

She passed away in hospital yesterday following an operation.

Her daughter Caroline Smith, 51, said: 'She was a one-off, because I think she achieved so much in life, without lots of money but with so much commitment and care and thought and passion for Cromer.'

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Mrs Woodcock was born in Portsmouth and moved to Norfolk at the age of 10 when her father became Cromer's registrar. She remained at the family home in Station Road for the rest of her life, where she raised Caroline and son Chris, 53.

She served as a police constable for seven years, receiving four commendations, before joining Norfolk Careers Service where she stayed until her retirement in 1986 - the same year she was elected to North Norfolk District Council and was made an MBE for services to the community.

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Mrs Smith said her mother was a modest woman but receiving the honour was a 'proud moment'.

As well as her ongoing work with various groups, Mrs Woodcock was also a tireless supporter of numerous projects, including providing a playground for children at Fearns Field in Suffield Park and raising funds for Cromer High School's swimming pool.

'She just thought that you give in life,' Mrs Smith added. 'She was generous with her time, her thoughts, her money. She was a fantastic mum and was always there, whatever time of day or night, and a really caring nan as well.'

Cromer mayor David Pritchard said: 'Vera loved Cromer and Cromer loved Vera. I know that she will be sadly missed by myself and the 61 years she gave to public service will be greatly missed by Cromer.'

The Cromer flag at the town council offices was flown at half mast yesterday.

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