Farewell to popular Corton council boss
As David Butcher surveyed the eroding beach by his Suffolk home it marked the end of four decades of the community stalwart helping to defend the coastline.
Mr Butcher has stepped down as a parish councillor for Corton, near Lowestoft, after 37 years of meetings, studying minutes and protecting the interest of fellow villagers.
And as the 68-year-old remembered his time on the council at countless meetings he recalled how nude beachgoers and the spread of Lowestoft also posed a problem for the people of Corton.
The former English teacher at Kirkley High School, who was also parish chairman for four and a half years, has faced three big challenges in his time on the council.
As well as battling coastal erosion by helping to get a seawall and rock apron, Mr Butcher has also dealt with concerns about the Corton naturist beach which caused residents to blush with embarrassment as people showed off all of their bodies.
Mr Butcher has also, sadly in his view, seen his beloved rural council became part of a Lowestoft urban ward after it left the Lothingland ward in the last decade – despite 90 villagers protesting about the move to the Electoral Commission.
Mr Butcher, who moved to Corton in 1971 with his wife Ann, said: 'As a coastal community Corton has certainly faced several challenges.
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'Corton is a lovely village with a real community feel to it. Despite everything it has retained its strong sense of being a rural village and has not been swallowed up by Lowestoft.
'I joined the parish council in 1973 as I firmly believe that you should get involved in community affairs wherever you live.'
Mr Butcher, who has two sons James and Jonathan and two grandchildren, Benjamin and Joshua, will continue to have an input into Corton community life as he will sit on the village playing field committee, help write the local newsletter, Coastline, and work on the Corton Woods project.
As a local historian he is also working on two books about Medieval Lowestoft and Lothingland. Mr Butcher hoped his 37 years of service will inspire other residents to take up the parish council mantle next year and help serve their community by filling two vacancies.