Julia Richardson: Respected Norfolk JP and talented cook

A leading Norfolk magistrate for more than three decades, Julia Richardson, has died peacefully at home, aged 64.

She was a chairman of the bench of the Central Norfolk Magistrates, presiding at Swaffham, after the closure of the Wymondham Bench and court on January 1, 1992. Her father-in-law, Robert Richardson was an earlier chairman of the Wymondham Bench in the 1970s.

She had been appointed Justice of the Peace in 1989 and became a much-respected magistrate, admired by colleagues for handling cases, quietly, firmly and with fairness. As a long-serving member of the Norfolk Family Panel, she was held in high regard.

An active fund-raiser for NSPCC's Attleborough branch, she was also a member of Wymondham Carousel Club.

She was a partner in the farming business, which was run by her husband, Philip, who also held a number of national positions in leading agricultural organisations. Always supportive of his other roles in local government, especially town mayor, she was a tireless supporter of his contribution to Wymondham Rotary Club.

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When their children were young, she was an active member of the parent teachers' association and was a governor of Robert Kett Middle School, Wymondham.

She was heavily involved in what became the Heart of Norfolk group of parishes, which had grown from the original St Peter and St Paul Church, Wramplingham and Barnham Broom to include a total of 18 parishes extending to Shipdham and Bradenham.

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Married for 42 years, she had qualified as a domestic science teacher. An invitation to sample her cooking and hospitality was always welcomed by a large circle of her friends, who supported her since her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer last autumn.

She leaves a husband, Philip, and daughter Kate and son Michael, and four grandchildren, Ben, Jamie, Harry and Thomas.

A private funeral was held today, Friday, February 10, at Wramplingham.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Wymondham Abbey on Friday, April 20, 2pm.

Michael Pollitt

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