Further tributes paid to history lover Leslie Cole who was found dead in Great Yarmouth museum

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

Further tributes have been paid to a history lover who was found dead in a Great Yarmouth museum.

Les Cole takes in the view from the top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Les Cole takes in the view from the top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2011

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

Mr Cole, who was in his 60s and lived in the Gorleston area, was also a leading member of the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society.

He was also a long standing volunteer for the Great Yarmouth Borough Council-run guided heritage walks.

Mr Cole had worked in local government and he then went to work for the Norfolk Museums Service at the Time and Tide Museum and the Tolhouse Museum.

Les Cole at the base of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Les Cole at the base of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2011


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He also worked at the Nelson Museum and would also accompany people up the town's Nelson Monument.

Andrew Fakes, president of the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society, said: 'Leslie had a great natural ability to talk to both children and adults on the subject of local and national history he studied in depth. He could speak off the cuff and his command of dates was phenomenal.

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'He often dressed as the jailer at the Tolhouse for conducted tours. His interest in Nelson and this period of history led him to be 'curator' of the Norfolk Pillar accompanying visitors up the 144 steps to the top. As well as giving conducted tours around the town he spoke to many groups on historical subjects around the town.'

Barry Coleman, chairman of the borough council's economic development committee, had been a guide on the heritage walks with Mr Cole.

He said: 'We were so saddened to hear of the death of Les Cole. In addition to volunteering for the museums service, Les was for 17 years a volunteer guide for the guided heritage walks until he was forced to give up in April due to ill health.

'Passionate about local heritage, Les helped to train some of the newer heritage guides, in addition to creating this year's special guided walk Dastardly Deeds & Ghostly Goings On.

'Les was a genuinely nice person, kind and happy to help with anything that promoted Yarmouth's heritage – a real ambassador. He will be sadly missed by a lot of people. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.'

Mr Cole had been a long term volunteer of the independent Nelson Museum as well as his job with Norfolk Museum Service.

Kerry Robinson Payne, curator of the museum and mayor of Great Yarmouth, said: 'He was well know and well liked.

'He was given the title of Custodian of the Nelson Museum which also covered the Norfolk Pillar because of his hard work and dedication and his immense knowledge of Nelson.

'He was extremely proud of this title.

'Les worked tirelessly to inform the public not only about Nelson but his love of Great Yarmouth and the stories he knew about the town, he often did research for visitors if he was unable to answer their particular question. Les always went that extra mile to help.

'We are all devastated here at the Nelson Museum and will miss his wise words and dry sense of humour. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time. He was a friend to everyone and I will personally miss his help and years of friendship.'

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