Village’s tributes to “greatly respected” Westleton community stalwart who died in motorcycle crash
- Credit: Archant
Villagers have paid tribute to a 'very much loved and respected' community stalwart - who had been planning to take a round-the-world trip to celebrate early retirement - after he died in a motorcycle crash.
Friends said Stewart Mackenzie had 'so much to look forward to' in life befire his tragic death in a single vehicle collision on the B1125 Dunwich Road, Blythburgh on Tuesday (September 23).
The 50-year-old, who worked for Marsh insurance brokers in Norwich, had been a 'central part' of Westleton life for decades, regularly visiting relatives in the village before inheriting his grandfather's house in Dunwich Road about 18 months ago.
An emotional gathering was held at the White Horse pub - where he was a regular - on the night of his death to allow people to pay their respects to Mr Mackenzie, who was a leading organiser of the popular annual barrel fair and a member of the playing field committee.
'It was quite hard,' said his close friend and Westleton Parish Council chairman Arlette Smith.
'People were very upset and visibly moved.'
The Union Jack flag at the village hall was also lowered as a mark of respect to the avid motorcycle fan, who had been riding bikes at Snetterton the weekend before his death.
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Villagers had clubbed together to buy him a voucher to ride at the Norfolk race track for his 50th birthday.
Mrs Smith said: 'He was probably one of the nicest people I've ever met. He was greatly respected.
'He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He loved the village and had thrown himself completely into life here.
'The sad thing is that his biggest passion in life has killed him. Motorcycles were his passion.
'He had every opportunity to go round the world. It is really quite sad. He had so much to look forward to.'
Roy Swindell, 81, of Blythburgh Road, Westleton, said: 'He was a central part of the village.
'It is a sad, sad loss. Everyone loved him. He was very generous, very gentle person. He was much, much loved and it has shocked the village.'
Friend Tom Vickery said: 'Although we're newcomers to the village and have only been here a couple of years, he was a good friend who was very much loved and respected in the village.'
Glenda Bray, 57, also praised Mr Mackenzie's 'generous spirit'.
Did you know Stuart Mackenzie? Pay your tributes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org