Death of man who became borough’s youngest mayor in 1970

Ken Hammerton with TV and film star Sid James.

Ken Hammerton with TV and film star Sid James. - Credit: Archant

A former councillor and mayor of Great Yarmouth has died.

Ken Hammerton with Princess Margaret

Ken Hammerton with Princess Margaret - Credit: Archant

Ken Hammerton, died at the age of 84, on Wednesday, March 2, after a two and a half year battle with motor neurone disease.

Ken was a prominent town and county councillor during the 1960s, before he became the borough's then youngest mayor at the age of 39 in 1970.

His eldest son Richard, said: 'He was a very strong man and even when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, I would ask him he was doing and he would always say he was doing good.

'It is a terrible debilitating disease but he always played it off and was strong about it, when I know that I probably would be complaining that I was in pain all the time.

'He was such a prominent member of the local community and his main achievements were his roles behind the planning and building of Gorleston Crematorium and his involvement in establishing the Harfreys Industrial Estate.'

Born in Kingston upon Thames, on July 10, 1931, Ken became a print compositor before a compulsory stint in the National Service.

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He moved to Great Yarmouth in the mid-1950s where he worked locally for Clowes, a printing company as a proof reader.

He entered politics in the early Sixties and was soon representing the Magdalen Ward as its councillor.

During his year as mayor, he met many celebrities including Morecambe and Wise, Sid James and Leslie Crowther. He also welcomed Princess Margaret to the town during a royal visit.

He also represented the town as mayor at the 1971 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Liverpool, as the game's referee was Great Yarmouth's Norman Burtenshaw.

In his later years, Ken enjoyed his retirement at his home on Busseys Loke in Bradwell.

Richard said: 'Ken was very active in the town's special relationship with Rambouillet in France visiting our neighbours more than once.

'He was a very proud Englishman and rugby fan and also loved Beethoven and the television series Dad's Army.'

He is survived by four children, Janice, 63, Richard, 58, Edward, 51 and Lizzy, 48.

Richard has asked for anyone who would like to donate anything in Ken's memory to forward any money to the Motor Neurone Disease Society.

The funeral service will be at Gorleston Crematorium - which he helped set up - on April 8 at 11.20am.

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