Ida Trevitt: Councillor made history as first woman Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Commissioner

Mrs Ida Trevitt

Mrs Ida Trevitt - Credit: Archant

History was made by a Suffolk county councillor, Ida Trevitt, who has died peacefully aged 93, when she became the first woman appointed a Great Yarmouth port and haven commissioner.

She broke a centuries-old tradition by becoming a member of the body which had always been a male preserve. When she was welcomed by the newly-elected chairman, Desmond Truman, on March 25, 1982, at the start of her three-year term, he recognised that it was an historic moment. Mrs Trevitt, who represented Beccles on the county council, also served on the former rural district council, and was also a member of the Broads Authority.

In the early 1970s, this male dominance was challenged by Yarmouth County Borough Council, which put forward then mayor Cora Batley as a nominee. Her rejection by commissioners sparked a row settled by new legislation being put through by Whitehall to alter the constitution.

Born in Hoylake, Cheshire, she went to school at Eastbourne and then volunteered for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, and became an officer working in intelligence.

In 1945, she married Bill Trevitt, who was also in the Royal Air Force and spent most of the Second World War with the Army in combined operations. When he was demobbed, they started a dairy farm at Pickhill, near Thirsk, in North Yorkshire.


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They moved to Suffolk in 1949, when he became National Farmers' Union group secretary of the Beccles branch, until his retirement in 1980. His wife, who was invited to stand for then rural district council, later became a member of Waveney District Council after local government re-organisation in 1974. She was also elected to Suffolk County Council for the Beccles division.

She was also involved in the hospital car service scheme and was a founder member of the Barsham and Shipmeadow Women's Institute. For many years, she helped to deliver meals on wheels with the WRVS when cinders were used to keep the 'hot box' warm. A member of Ringsfield parochial church council and the Beccles Society, she was also a very keen gardener.

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Her husband, Bill, predeceased. She leaves three children, Judy, Mark and Tom, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, and is survived by her sister, Joan.

A funeral service will be held All Saints Church, Ringsfield, near Beccles, on Friday, October 11

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