Tributes are paid to Wymondham stalwart

HORACE WILKINSON WITH THE WYMONDHAM CIVIC AWARD

HORACE WILKINSON WITH THE WYMONDHAM CIVIC AWARD

Horace Wilkinson was known as an institution of Wymondham for his dedication to many projects and organisations in the community.

The former senior probation officer has died aged 92 and throughout his life was instrumental in a number of projects, including helping to set up the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, which he later became the vice president of.

He masterminded the purchase of the Bridewell for the Wymondham Heritage Museum and was the vice president of Wymondham's Heritage Society.

He had a helping hand in bringing the Citizens Advice Bureau to the town and established the Tiffey Valley Walk and farmers market.

Barry Woodgett, chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway, said: 'Horace was instrumental in setting the trust up, without him and his contacts it is arguable whether we'd have been able to save the railway.

'He was a man who achieved so much in his life. He was very easy to get on with and very matter of fact. He was a very wise old gentleman who had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve.

'He made an immense difference to everything he was involved in and I don't know whether we'll see his kind again.'

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A committed Christian, Mr Wilkinson's philosophy was 'everybody deserves another chance', and he helped with the care and resettlement of ex-offenders.

He was married to his wife Barbara for 58 years until her death in July and was an Elder at the Fairland United Reformed Church.

In 2004, he received the Wymondham Civic Award for enterprising work for the local community.

Joe Mooney, Wymondham mayor, called him a 'community champion' and added: 'I very much enjoyed my association with him especially with the Wymondham Heritage Museum project.'

Born in Beckenham, Kent, in 1923, Mr Wilkinson lived in Lewisham before moving to Wymondham.

In a joint statement, his three sons, Peter, Mark and Duncan said: 'Apart from the many committees and groups that he was involved with, he was an avid gardener providing friends, family and neighbours with an abundance of fruit and vegetables throughout the year.

'He was never happier though than when he had a new scheme or project to mastermind. His enthusiasm, determination and strength of character benefited many organisations over the years.'

Mr Wilkinson had seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. His funeral is at 1.30pm on Thursday, January 14 at the United Reformed Church.