“He had Great Yarmouth in his heart”: town mourns death of Charles Reynolds

Charles Reynolds has died aged 62 following a year-long battle with cancer. Picture: James Bass

Charles Reynolds has died aged 62 following a year-long battle with cancer. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Archant

Tributes to a giant of Great Yarmouth life have poured in after he died following a year-long battle with cancer.

Charles Reynolds died on Thursday aged 62, less than a week after his wife Julie's funeral in Caister.

Mr Reynolds had served Yarmouth as a councillor, businessman, tourism advocate and was a parliamentary candidate over a career spanning 40 years.

Great Yarmouth MP, Brandon Lewis, described him as 'an iconic figure' and 'great servant to our town'.

He said on Twitter: 'Very sad to hear about the passing of a great Conservative and friend in Great Yarmouth. Charles Reynolds was such a lovely man and great servant to our town, an iconic figure who will be sadly missed as his wife has been since her untimely passing.'

Great Yarmouth Borough Council flew its flag at half-mast as a mark of respect for Mr Reynolds.

Graham Plant, leader of the council, said Mr Reynolds' death was a 'huge loss'.

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'He had Great Yarmouth in his heart,' he said. 'He was greatly respected amongst his peers and he was a stalwart of our group (the Conservatives) for 40 years.

'We're devastated to lose him, and our thoughts are with his family.'

Mr Plant added that his colleague's passion for Yarmouth was always evident.

'He was always so enthusiastic about the town, and if he ever heard anyone putting it down he would put them straight.

'But he was always lovely to be around, very light-hearted and a lovely person,' he said.

Mr Reynolds was born on March 23, 1956, in Caister.

He was the managing director at Reynolds Coaches of Caister - a business which ran in his family for more than 100 years.

His political life saw him involved with the Conservative Party from the age of 16. He held various posts for the Great Yarmouth Conservative Party.

He was first elected onto the borough council as a councillor for Caister in 1979.

In the 2001 General Election he was the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth. He was also elected as a Norfolk county councillor for the East Flegg Division in 1981 to 1985.

Mr Reynolds was then elected councillor for the Ormesby Ward in 1986.