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Tribute paid after former town mayor dies

Gwen Smith, centre, drawing a prize during her tenue as Cromer's mayor in 2012, assisted by performers in that year's Cromer Pier Christmas Show. Tributes have been paid after Mrs Smith passed away on January 27, 2019. Picture: RICHARD BATSON

Gwen Smith, centre, drawing a prize during her tenue as Cromer's mayor in 2012, assisted by performers in that year's Cromer Pier Christmas Show. Tributes have been paid after Mrs Smith passed away on January 27, 2019. Picture: RICHARD BATSON

Archant

Tribute has been paid to a former mayor of Cromer, who has died aged 81.

Former Cromer mayor Gwen Smith with her Ukip Gold Award in 2012. Picture: ANTONY KELLYFormer Cromer mayor Gwen Smith with her Ukip Gold Award in 2012. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Tribute has been paid to a former mayor of Cromer, who has died aged 81.

Gwen Smith, who was the town mayor in 2012-13, died on Sunday, January 27.

David Pritchard, the town’s current mayor, was Mrs Smith’s deputy during her year as mayor.

Mr Pritchard said: “Myself and my family were sad to hear this news.

Gwen Smith and David Pritchard at a Diamond Jubillee event in Cromer's North Lodge Park in 2012. Picture: SUPPLIED BY DAVID PRITCHARDGwen Smith and David Pritchard at a Diamond Jubillee event in Cromer's North Lodge Park in 2012. Picture: SUPPLIED BY DAVID PRITCHARD

“What many people possibly didn’t realise is that with only two exceptions, she attended every function she was invited to in her mayoral year, so she kept herself very busy.

“Whenever I met up with her at events, she was always fun and had a dry sense of humour. Many people will also know that Gwen was partial to long chats on the telephone – sometimes very long chats.”

Mr Pritchard said his favourite memories of Mrs Smith were from events held at Cromer’s North Lodge Park during the 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

He said at one of the events: “She was extremely honoured to present the late Vera Woodcock with a medal to mark Vera’s brilliant achievement of 60 years as a councillor.”

He said she was the only person he knew who stuck with her typewriter and never switched over to a computer.

Tim Adams, fellow town councillor, said Mrs Smith would be missed by many.

He said: “I served as mayor subsequently to Gwen, and I greatly appreciated the time she would spare to phone me, both to share her opinions and offer me her encouragement as she would do for others.

“The taxi drivers in Cromer lost a particularly good ally when Gwen ceased to be a town councillor several years ago.

“She spent a great deal of time ensuring that councillors recognised the contribution that taxi drivers make to the community and economy, and would frequently speak on their behalf on a number of matters.”

Mrs Smith, who was a member of Ukip, was given their ‘gold award’ in 2012 for 20 years of service to the party. Several weeks after her term as mayor ended, she was chosen to attend a garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

She was married to Ken Smith, who died before her. Mr Pritchard said there would be a minute’s silence in her memory at the next Cromer Town Council full meeting.

-Would you like to pay tribute to Mrs Smith? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

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