Alastair McLean MBE: Norfolk magistrate and a deputy Lord Lieutenant

A former deputy lieutenant of Norfolk and a long-serving magistrate, Alastair McLean, has died suddenly but peacefully aged 85 at his home at Beetley, near Dereham.

When he was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for political services in 1994, he was 'extremely pleased and honoured' but modest about his achievements.

'I was fortunate that my name came out of the hat to represent Mid-Norfolk,' he told the EDP.

He had a remarkable record in local government elections. Each time he stood, whether for county or district councils, he topped the poll.

He was chairman of Norfolk's education committee for four years from 1972 and president of the Norfolk Naturalists' Trust (now Norfolk Wildlife Trust) in 1983 when he succeeded Ted Ellis.

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After serving in the Royal Navy, Lt Cdr Alastair Stephen McLean moved to Norfolk in 1963 and served on the former Dereham Urban District Council, and was elected chairman in 1969. He was elected a member of Norfolk County Council in 1967 for Dereham, where the family was well known. After 10 years, he gave up chairmanship of the county education committee after ill-health.

A magistrate on the Dereham bench for 25 years, he was praised for his wisdom, patience and good humour on his retirement in 1996.

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Lt Cdr McLean was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Norfolk in June 1974. He was a past chairman of the Norwich Joint Airport Committee and in 1978 was nominated by the Countryside commission to serve on the new Broads Authority.

He was also at various times vice-chairman, chairman and president of the South West Norfolk Conserv-ative Association. When Dereham was transferred to the new Mid-Norfolk constituency, he served as treasurer and president of the new association.

He was awarded one of Macmillan Cancer Relief's major awards. The Chairman's Medal recognises 10 years or more of continuous service by officers of fundraising committees as treasurer to the East Dereham and Fakenham committee.

He had married Jean, who died last year. She had served in the WRNS from 1941 until they were married in 1950. He leaves two children, Colin and Fiona, and six grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at Mintlyn Crematorium, King's Lynn, on Monday, June 6 at 11.30am.

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