Further tributes paid to Great Yarmouth heritage enthusiast Les Cole who was found dead in museum dungeon

Les Cole climbs to the top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Les Cole climbs to the top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2011

A heritage group has added its voice to the chorus of tributes to one of Great Yarmouth's most passionate and proud champions.

The body of Norfolk Museums Service member Leslie Cole was discovered at the Tolhouse Museum on Saturday June 11.

Mr Cole, who was in his 60s and lived in the Gorleston area, was well known for his love of local history and commitment to sharing his unrivalled knowledge with townsfolk and visitors.

And as a founder member of Gorleston-on-Sea heritage group (GOSH) initially set up by enthusiasts who were involved with the Millennium Manuscript – a re-imagined version of the 14th century Gorleston Psalter manuscripts, he was 'very valued and respected.'

Members paid tribute to him at a recent meeting saying that although his many commitments often took him away from the group he remained 'a firm and valuable friend.'


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In a statement Les Cockrill said he spoke for the whole group in describing him as 'a very valued and respected member of GOSH.'

He added: 'As one of the small team of founder members, mostly consisting of people who previously created the Gorleston Millennium Manuscript, Les and his parents hosted GOSH in their home for their monthly meetings until larger premises had to be found because of rising numbers.

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'Together with Tom Harrison, Les took on the onerous and unknown task of collating and producing GOSH's first successful book Walking With The Past.

'He also contributed to and edited the second book Greetings From Gorleston-on-Sea.

'In recent years work commitments with the Great Yarmouth Museums Service, volunteering, and his popular talks on many subjects, made it impossible for him to attend GOSH meetings but he always remained a firm and valuable friend.

'Les was a quiet, patient, unassuming man with a great sense of humour. GOSH members will miss him.'

A statement on the GOSH website added: 'Les carried a wealth of detailed knowledge in his head and was a great performer at special historical re-enactment events, he really enjoyed heritage activities.

Mr Cole was also a long standing volunteer for the council-run guided heritage walks.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on June 14.

A full inquest has been set for October 27.

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