Larry Randall: Cromer councillor and businessman put his heart into the town

Former Cromer councillor and businessman Laurence 'Larry' Randall has died aged 80 after a long illness.

He served as a town, district and county councillor and for many years ran the family electrical shop and business.

Mr Randall, who died in hospital last Friday, was born in 1932. He grew up in Cromer and the town and its people would be the driving force behind his later work in local politics.

He was the son of Raymond and May Randall, and sister of Dorothea. His father and three of his uncles made up the firm of Randalls, then running various shops and electrical contractors in Cromer and Sheringham.

On leaving school, he was apprenticed at Laurence Scott Electromotors in Norwich before serving for three years in the Royal Navy. He called back to Cromer when he was a member of the crew of HMS Crossbow making a goodwill visit to the town.

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He returned to Laurence Scott on completing his service and continued his work as a planning engineer.

At Cromer he played both football and cricket for the town, sang and acted with the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society and also sang with the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society.

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In 1976 he took and ran the business for many years until his retirement in 1995. He was also president of the town's chamber of trade in the 1980s.

He was also elected to Cromer Town Council in 1976 and then in 1991 to North Norfolk District Council.

In 1997 he also became a county councillor, where he served on a number of committees, making friends of councillors across the county but being renowned for always wanting to know: 'what's in it for Cromer?'

Fellow town and district councillor Benji Cabbell-Manners said: 'Larry was a really good town, district and county councillor, who put his heart and soul into a town he loved, and was always generous and cheerful.'

Among his other activities, he was a member, and president in 1985 of Cromer and Sheringham Rotary Club, and of the Baring Masonic Lodge based at Sheringham.

Mr Randall was also president of the now-closed Cromer Conservative Club.

He also continued in the family tradition of mending clocks and watches and perhaps his most unheralded but essential task was that of winding the church clock once a week. He took over the role from his uncle Harold and would eventually pass it on to his nephew Richard Leeds.

His enjoyment of sport continued into his later years, when he would often be found on the bowling green.

Mr Randall, who lived in Arbor Hill, leaves a widow, Margaret.

A memorial service will be held at Cromer parish church on Tuesday, December 18 at 2.15pm.

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