“He lived a rough life but still came up smiling” - Daughter pays tribute to popular Norwich eccentric Marigold

PUBLISHED: 09:42 09 May 2015




The daughter of popular Norwich eccentric Marigold has paid tribute to her father – and to the city which took him to its heart – after his death was confirmed.


Marigold, whose real name was Alvin Braithwaite, was renowned for directing traffic on the inner ring road while wearing rubber gloves.

He was a friendly, much-loved figure in the city and was immortalised in an oil painting last year.

Rumours of his death had circulated in the past, prompting Mr Braithwaite to make statements to confirm his wellbeing, but his death has now been confirmed by one of his three daughters who described him as an intelligent man who loved people and also loved cricket.

His daughter, who did not want to be named, said: “He lived a rough life but still came up smiling. He was a highly intelligent man who was very kind and loved to teach his girls. He used to teach us large words and sayings and he tried to write books.

Marigold, whose real name was Alvin Braithwaite. Picture: SuppliedMarigold, whose real name was Alvin Braithwaite. Picture: Supplied

“He called everyone sunshine and so was known as sunshine.”

Mr Braithwaite had just turned 74 before his recent death and had been living in a care home in Thetford.

He was a much-loved figure in Norwich and his daughter said she wanted to thank the city for the kindness her father has been shown over the years.

She said: “People in Norwich have been very respectful to him and kind and yes, there are some odd stories going around, but they’re not malicious.

“I want to thank the people of Norwich for being so kind to him because he was ill but he was able to bring out a kindness in people and a respect.

“There are lots of people who have difficulties like him and live the way he has and people aren’t always favourable but somehow people have been kind to him and I thank God for that, because its a tough life he’s had. But he still came out smiling and people still think of him.”

His daughter said many people claimed to have given her father his trademark gloves, including one person who said their son had suffered from mental health and had given the gloves to “keep him safe”, but does not know for sure how he got them.

Born in Christ Church, Barbados, Mr Braithwaite came to the UK in his late teens and worked initially on the London Underground before later arriving in Norfolk in the late 1960s, working as a printer’s compositor in Thetford.

A father of three daughters, who has two granddaughters and two great grandsons, he also worked at the Plover pub in Thetford, but became ill following an accident which changed his personality.

He lived in St Martin’s House, Westwick Street for many years, but disappeared from his regular haunts in 1996 and spent his later life in retirement at the care home.

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