Tributes to Norfolk character Percy Garrod

A Norfolk character who loved people, pursued many hobbies and enjoyed a good old mardle has passed away at the age of 102.

Percy Garrod was known to many as a cabinet maker, teacher, musician, beekeeper, painter, photographer, cricketer and had many other past times.

The keen writer, who spent most of his life living in Bawburgh and Little Melton, near Norwich, was a village correspondent for the EDP from 1947 to 1974 and read the EDP every day for 80 years - except on May 5, 1926, when the general strike meant no edition was printed.

Mr Garrod's family paid tribute to the popular man who stayed active and continued to make things well past his retirement. For his 100th birthday, the Robert Kett Court resident in Wymondham built himself a banjo from scratch.

He passed away on June 8 at his home.

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His daughter Elizabeth Smith, of Long Stratton, said: 'He just loved life and his interests and hobbies were so important. Whenever he met anyone he would ask about their hobbies and he loved to mardle and liked to talk to anyone. Because of his vast range of interests and long life, he will be remembered by so many.' Mr Garrod was born in 1909 in Hilborough, near Swaffham, and started his working life as a cabinet maker at Bretts in Norwich. He then became woodwork teacher at the Trowse Handicraft Centre and Colman Road School in Norwich before setting up his own business in antiques furniture and string instrument restoration.

Mr Garrod was passionate about Norfolk and agriculture and was a member of the Norfolk Beekeepers' Association for more than 70 years and attended the Royal Norfolk Show every year from 1949.

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He wrote his first article for the EDP in 1947 reporting local snow storms and went on to write two books on East Anglian folklore. During the second world war, he served as a dispatch rider for the Home Guard.

The violin player helped form the Norwich String Orchestra. He was also an early pioneer and promoter of self-sustainability by installing his own wind turbine to generate his own electricity in 1955 and grew his own fruits and vegetables.

When interviewed on his 100th birthday, he told the EDP: 'There are three things you should like in this world; people, places and things.'

He leaves behind two daughters, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His wife of 69 years, Gladys, died in 2005.

His funeral will be held at All Saints Church in Little Melton at 3pm on Wednesday.

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