Obituary: Dave Robertson, former North Walsham mayor who championed the town

Obit - Former North Walsham town mayor Dave Robertson.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Obit - Former North Walsham town mayor Dave Robertson.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Former North Walsham mayor Dave Robertson was a man of many talents, forthright views and had a great sense of commitment.

Mr Robertson, who has died, aged 66, was a founder, first chairman and active supporter of the town's annual June Fun Day.

He also chaired and ran North Walsham's Christmas Lights Committee for a number of years, persuading volunteers to turn up on cold Sunday mornings and hang the bulbs, help with the switch-on ceremony and pack the strings away in January.

Although born in Dereham, on Leap Year's Day, he only spent three months in Norfolk before moving to Streatham, London, where his father worked as an ambulance driver.

Mr Robertson trained as a nurse and worked in hospitals in Birmingham and Birkenhead before switching to administrative work in the building trade.

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He later managed a home in Camden, funded by a celebrities' charity, for people with disabilities. While there he met his future wife, Pam, who was working at a similar institution in Croydon.

The couple moved to Weybourne in 1986 and took on the lease of Gasches Restaurant for three years, later moving to Northrepps where Mr Robertson became a governor at the village school.

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A later job, based at Peele House, Cromer, saw him helping ex-offenders.

The family moved to Park Avenue, North Walsham, eight years ago and Mr Robertson joined the town council where he was renowned for speaking his mind and relentlessly championing the cause of the town which he wanted to see regenerated and thriving.

A long-time supporter of the Liberal Democrats, Mr Robertson was an active campaigner for North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

He joined North Walsham Rotary Club and was awarded the organisation's highest honour, the Paul Harris Fellowship, earlier this year, marking his work providing community Angel Packs, containing items to be used by patients waiting for ambulances.

Mr Robertson became rotary secretary and carried on the role, plus that of town councillor, until his death from cancer at home on Sunday.

He was especially proud of the achievements of his three sons: Iain, who joined the Navy, Neil, an actor who also works with adults who have special needs, and Alex, who has just started a university course in sports journalism.

An organiser to the end, Mr Robertson planned his own funeral although a date has yet to be fixed.

Richard Sims, the present mayor of North Walsham, described Mr Robertson as a man with a passion for the town.

He added: 'He would relish a good fight to ensure the people of North Walsham kept what they deserve - a nice place to live and work. We have all lost a true friend.'

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