Basil Starling: Town councillor born and bred in Swaffham

Basil Starling

Basil Starling - Credit: Archant

A fruiterer and florist in Breckland market towns, Basil Starling has died peacefully, aged 87, at his home in Swaffham.

Born and bred in Swaffham, he later stood for the town council and was a member for more than 10 years until the late 1980s. He had spent much of his early life living at Marcon House, now Fitzroy House.

He served in the Royal Air Force transport command between 1943 and 1947, including postings to Belgium and Germany, until he was demobbed. Then he opened a shop in Castle Acre and started a mobile round serving Marham and surrounding villages.

Later, he ran market stalls at Swaffham and Watton.

Then, he opened the first of three shops in Swaffham and ran the present location in Market Place until retiring in 1986.


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His daughter, Kimberley, successfully reopened the family greengrocery, fruiterer and florists, Starling's, about 15 years ago.

A founder member of the town's Round Table, he was also a honorary vice-president of FePow and a member of the RAF Association.

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He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of Swaffham Club.

He started a chess club and supported the local boxing and rugby clubs.

In retirement, he decided to take up jazz and learned the banjo and was recruited as a member of a local band,

Married for 46 years, he is survived by his widow, Dorothy, and daughter Kimberley.

A memorial service will be held at SS Peter and Paul Church, Swaffham, on Tuesday, April 9 at 11.30am.

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