Family’s fundraising in memory of well-known Dereham businessman edges towards £1m target

Brian Cross, pictured several years ago with his children Rosie and Tom.

Brian Cross, pictured several years ago with his children Rosie and Tom. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A fundraising appeal in honour of one of Dereham's best-known characters is edging closer to reaching its ambitious £1m target.

Businessman, entrepreneur and former mayor Brian Cross died from a rare brain cancer in 2006, at the age of 62.

His widow, Sally, who lives in Gressenhall, established the Brian Cross Memorial Trust with other family members that year to raise funds for brain tumour research.

Now, its 10th year, £850,000 has been raised.

Funds have come from the sale of land and various events including runs and clay pigeon shoots.

Last month a ball at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, organised by Mr Cross' daughter Rosie Cross, 27, raised £74,500.

Miss Cross said: 'I'm completely overwhelmed. People have been incredibly generous.'

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Mr Cross started the Big Fry fish and chip chain in 1969 with its first branch in Dereham expanding to 12 shops across Norfolk. He bought a farm and became one of the biggest blackcurrant growers in East Anglia, supplying for the manufacture of Ribena. Mr Cross also organised concerts and brought Jimi Hendrix and Rod Stewart to Dereham during their early careers.

Miss Cross said: 'The hardest thing with dad was being told there was nothing they could do and feeling completely alone. I want to make sure nobody else has to go through that. I'm convinced we will get to £1m.'

For more about the Brian Cross Memorial Trust, go to

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