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‘Once met and never forgotten’- tributes paid to Yarmouth scrap metal merchant

PUBLISHED: 14:15 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 08 November 2017

Michael Docwra pictured a year before he died. Photo: Leon Docwra

Michael Docwra pictured a year before he died. Photo: Leon Docwra

Leon Docwra

Michael Docwra, a scrap metal merchant and horse trader, was still sealing deals until the day he died aged 71 after a long illness.

Michael Docwra with his granddaughter Jasmine. His hard working ethic stayed with him until the day he died. Photo: Leon Docwra Michael Docwra with his granddaughter Jasmine. His hard working ethic stayed with him until the day he died. Photo: Leon Docwra

His astonishing work ethic was instilled in him as a child growing up in Great Yarmouth, living with his family in a double decker bus in Runham Vauxhall.

A regular at horse fairs he was raised on hard work, tradition, and family values.

Known for his business Docwra’s scrapyard he has been described as “the kind of man who was once met and never forgotten, who treated everyone fairly without a bad word to say about anyone.”

Born in Yarmouth he had three brothers Brian, Danny Boy, and Peter.

Michael Docwra surrounded by his large, loving family on Father's Day this year. Photo: Victoria Jane Photography Michael Docwra surrounded by his large, loving family on Father's Day this year. Photo: Victoria Jane Photography

The family lived together on the bus, among other places, until 1962 when Mr Docwra was 16 and his father Danny Docwra found some land at Cobholm he called Blackgate Farm where they settled for many years.

In that time Mr Docwra his brothers and father would work together buying and selling horses and scrap metal, a tradition that carried on throughout all their lives.

As a child he would help to buy, breed, break, and sell horses and ponies, and was a competent horseman.

The family travelled far and wide to horse sales and Barnet was the highlight of their year, cooking over an open fire and sleeping in a van.

In 1975 he had made himself enough money to buy his own piece of land opposite his father’s and started his own scrap business, Mike Docwra & Son.

In that time he had met and married Karen. The couple had three children Tanya, Michelle, and Leon - but separated after 20 years.

His second wife Carol cared for him throughout his illness.

Son Leon Docwra said his father bore his suffering with smiles and good humour, his “grafter” work ethic a driving force until the end. He described him as “a kind, loving, family man.”

The funeral service is to be held at St Nicholas Minster in Yarmouth on Monday the November 27 at 11.45am.

A procession of horse-drawn vehicles, classic cars, and trucks will set off from the slip road near the scrapyard at around 11am, with anyone who knew him welcome to join them from 10am.

Flowers can be delivered to Jary and Sons or brought to the yard on the morning.

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