Tributes paid to former Beccles town and district councillor

Former district and town councillor Barry Bee has died aged 74.

Former district and town councillor Barry Bee has died aged 74. - Credit: Archant

A former Beccles town and district councillor has died at the age of 74.

Barry Bee, who was a former Waveney district councillor for the Beccles South ward and a member of Beccles Town Council, died suddenly at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston on October 2 after a short illness.

Mr Bee, who is the father of current Waveney District Council chairman and former leader of Suffolk County Council Mark Bee, was born in Norwich but grew up in Bungay.

He attended Bungay Grammar School, and later moved to Beccles after marrying his wife Linda in 1963.

After leaving school, he worked in accountancy in Norwich and then for 40 years at Fibrenyle (later Polimoon) in Beccles, until he retired in 2007.

In 1997 he contracted mouth cancer, and as a result he had surgery removing most of his tongue. Despite being told he would never speak again, he battled against this and later was elected to Waveney District Council where he served from 2007 until 2011. He was then elected to the town council in Beccles until 2015.

His son Mark said: 'My dad was a great character with a good sense of humour. He always made time for people.

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'He showed great courage with the various health issues he faced. Mum and I would like to thank all who have sent us so many messages.'

Paying tribute on behalf of Beccles Town Council, mayor Graham Catchpole said: 'Barry was a very diligent councillor, he did not speak just for the sake of it, but his contributions were always considered and relevant to the debate.

'He was a great help and willingly offered support and guidance to me and other councillors. He contributed greatly to the democratic life of the town.'

A memorial service is to be held on Monday, October 17, at St Michael's Church in Beccles at 1pm. There will be family flowers only, but donations for the church, if desired, can be sent to Rosedale Funeral Home in Beccles.