Memorial unveiled to “Mrs Cromer” Vera Woodcock

Cromer community hero Vera Woodcock's brother Russell, her daughter Caroline, Cromer mayor David Pritchard and Mrs Woodcock's son Christopher with the poppy-themed memorial installed in the gardens outside the council offices in North Lodge Park. Photo: Karen Bethell. Cromer community hero Vera Woodcock's brother Russell, her daughter Caroline, Cromer mayor David Pritchard and Mrs Woodcock's son Christopher with the poppy-themed memorial installed in the gardens outside the council offices in North Lodge Park. Photo: Karen Bethell.

Karen Bethell karen.bethell@archant.co.uk
Monday, May 19, 2014
8:40 AM

A memorial to Cromer community hero Vera Woodcock has been unveiled outside the town council offices in North Lodge Park.

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

Featuring six red poppies, the carved tribute was created from a flagpole thought to be the mast from the sailing barge the Sepoy, which was rescued by Cromer lifeboat legend Henry Blogg and his crew in 1933.

It was the idea of town clerk Julie Chance and town councillors, who wanted to commemorate Mrs Woodcock’s devotion to serving the community.

Dubbed “Mrs Cromer” by friends, Mrs Woodcock, who died last year at the age of 86, was a town councillor for 61 years, also sitting on committees ranging from Cromer in Bloom and Cromer Christmas Lights, to Cromer Youth Club and the Goldsmiths Trust, which gives grants to Cromer students wanting to study outside the town.

The former flagpole was unveiled by Mrs Woodcock’s son Christopher, her daughter Caroline and town mayor David Pritchard at a ceremony attended by friends, family and council members.

Her brother Russell Reeve, 85, said that, as Mrs Woodcock was known for her love of poppies, the memorial was a fitting tribute.

He remembered watching with his sister from the cliffs as Henry Blogg and his crew rescued the stricken Spanish ship Cantabria in 1938, also recalling scattering poppy seeds over the clifftops.

“We were once stopped by the Coastguard who asked if we were alright – I think he thought we were about to throw ourselves off,” Mr Reeve said. “Although she was only a couple of years older than me, she was always my big sister, a role she continued even later in life.”

Paying tribute to Mrs Woodcock’s “unstinting community work”, Mr Pritchard said: “Vera was very well-known and very respected and everything she did, she did for Cromer, so we wanted to do something to mark her 60 years of dedication to the town.”

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