Tributes paid to ‘Norfolk gentleman’ who has died

Keith Dugdale. Picture: Dugdale family

Keith Dugdale. Picture: Dugdale family - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a 'Norfolk gentleman' who worked for over 30 years as a magistrate and was also a devoted family man.

Keith Dugdale, 87, from Kelling in north Norfolk, was described by his daughter Hilary as a man 'at home with words, numbers and music. A Norfolk gentleman who loved this county and her people and served them across his professional life. A man of utter integrity, of rich talent and humility'.

A former Gresham's School, Holt pupil, he was the chairman of the appeal to raise funds to build the school's Auden Theatre. He died two days before he could take up his invitation to attend the 20th anniversary of its opening.

His son Jeremy said: 'As well as working as a chartered accountant and sitting as a magistrate for over 30 years, he sat on many and varied committees, trusts and tribunals ranging from the Police Authority to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, to the VAT and Duties Tribunal, the Norfolk Health Authority, and the Norwich Historic Churches' Trust.

'Despite these commitments, he always put his family first. He would not bring work home, and the two worlds were kept separate.'

Born in Norwich in 1930 he attended Magdalen College, Oxford. Being unfit for National Service because of severe allergies, the college welcomed him. He always suspected it was partly because his youth entitled him to rationed bananas, which the dons greatly enjoyed.

After Oxford, he was offered a job teaching at Geelong College in Australia. But, owing to the failing health of his parents, and the death of his father, he stayed closer to home, and joined Martin and Acock (now M+A Partners) accountants, becoming a partner in 1956.

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His son Chris said: 'Dad worked at Martin and Acock for over 40 years, and I have been so fortunate both to have worked with him and to continue to act for individuals and families for whom dad acted before me. That privilege has not only taught me a huge amount about how I can continue to serve those people well, but has also given me an insight into what dad meant to so many people throughout Norfolk.'

He married his wife Angela the following year. Between having three children he began to sit as a magistrate, and in due course was appointed Chairman of the Bench.

The couple's time together was often spent in choral or other musical rehearsals and performances.

He leaves his wife Angela, their three children, and eight grandchildren. He died on June 19 and there will be a thanksgiving memorial service at Gresham's School Chapel on August 9 at 3pm to be taken by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick.