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Family pay tribute to well-known Methwold community member and farm owner Rose Wortley

PUBLISHED: 11:21 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:16 01 May 2017

Rose Wortley was an active member of the Methwold community. Picture: Wortley family

Rose Wortley was an active member of the Methwold community. Picture: Wortley family

Archant

Well-known Methwold farm owner and active community member Rose Wortley has died aged 96.

Bill Wortley with his wife Rose celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in February 1992. Picture: Wortley familyBill Wortley with his wife Rose celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in February 1992. Picture: Wortley family

Described as “always busy in the village”, Mrs Wortley was involved with a number of groups including the Women’s Institute, the Bright Hour Club and Methwold Carpet Bowls.

Over a 20-year period she raised thousands of pounds for St George’s Church and the Methodist Church by selling coffee and cake from the old school room at the Monday market.

Rose Wortley during her time in the army during the 1940s. Picture: Wortley familyRose Wortley during her time in the army during the 1940s. Picture: Wortley family

She and her husband Owen, also known as Bill, bought Holmebrink Farm - then 10 acres - in 1956, and laid the base for what is now the 3,000 acre OW Wortley & Sons.

The hard working mother to Ann, David and Andrew was involved with the admin work for the farm as well as helping with the farming chores as needed, and in the early years was responsible for raising chickens and calves.

Rose Wortley, second from the right, picking potatoes during the 1950s. Picture: Archant LibraryRose Wortley, second from the right, picking potatoes during the 1950s. Picture: Archant Library

She still worked on the accounts and payroll until she was 73.

A statement from her family said: “The family remembers Rose as a determined, hard working and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother whose life was an example to us all. A long life well lived.”

Born on April 9 1921 in Norwich, Mrs Wortley was the fourth of six children born to George and Annie Cracknell.

She lived on Northumberland Street with her paternal grandparents until they moved to Catton Grove when she was 11.

At 17 she was a student nurse and worked at the Norwich Isolation Hospital on Bowthorpe Road but had to leave after a year when her mother became ill and she needed to look after her younger siblings.

At 19 she joined the army where she learnt to drive and type. Her job during the Second World War was to listen and note down German code which was then passed on to be people who would see it if needed to be deciphered.

She was still in the army when she met her Methwold-based husband whose brother was courting Mrs Wortley’s sister.

The pair married at St George’s Church in February 1942 – Mrs Wortley had to get leave from the army – and were married until Mr Wortley’s death in 1996.

Mrs Wortley, who had nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, died on April 17.

A service will be held at St George’s Church on Thursday, May 4 at 2pm.

All are welcome.

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