Hundreds of mourners have paid their respects to a man who gave so much to his town that he was affectionately dubbed ‘Mr Great Yarmouth’.

Bert Collins served as a councillor on both Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council for many years and died last month.

On Monday, family, friends and colleagues gathered at Great Yarmouth Minster to pay their respects and give thanks for all he gave to the borough.

Former Great Yarmouth MP Michael Carttiss delivered the tribute, sharing his memories of Mr Collins, particularly from his time as chairman of the Great Yarmouth Conservatives.

He said: “Bert was always smiling and always smartly dressed, even in casual clothes mowing his lawn.

“He was meticulous about his appearance as he was in everything he did.”

Mr Carttiss recalled how Mr Collins was so passionate about his town that he was affectionately known around County Hall as ‘Mr Great Yarmouth’.

He said: “He would wish us to be smiling here and it is fitting his funeral is here in St Nicholas Minster, in the heart of the town he was so proud of.

“He was always very humble about himself, but not about the town.”

Mr Carttiss added Mr Collins was an enthusiastic Norwich City fan and a constant support while he was MP.

He added: “Bert would often give me advice, often when I had never asked for it but I learned to appreciate it was always shrewd and not to be ignored.”

Mr Collins was instrumental in reintroducing the role of mayor to the town, serving as the first person in the role after it was reinstated in 2000.

Rev Albert Cadmore, chaplain of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI, joined The Rev Simon Ward in leading the service.

He said: “I consider it a tremendous privilege to stand here today. Through the years, I knew Bert as a man of absolute integrity.”

Mr Collins’s coffin arrived at the Minster draped in the flag of the town he held so dear. The same flag flew half mast outside the town hall as a part of respect.