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Community champion Cara dies

PUBLISHED: 11:08 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:31 30 June 2010

Former magistrate Cara Aldiss, who has died peacefully aged 96 at her north Norfolk home, took an active interest in the community throughout her long life.

Former magistrate Cara Aldiss, who has died peacefully aged 96 at her north Norfolk home, took an active interest in the community throughout her long life.

She was a founder of the Over-60s at Hopton, near Great Yarmouth, where she lived for more than 30 years until returning to live closer to her family.

Born Caroline Martha Barrett at Whissonsett, near Fakenham, in 1913, she was always known as Cara. Her father Walter took the tenancy on the Sennowe estate at Hall Farm, Guist, and the sporting teenager was soon fundraising for tennis courts, playing hockey and walking puppies for the North Norfolk Harriers.

She also played cricket and was vice-chairman of Sennowe Ladies. It was at a cricket match against Fakenham Banks where she met a young naval officer Harry John Aldiss.

They were married in 1938 and soon had a young family as their daughter, Cara, was born. As a naval officer, he saw service in the second world war. Later, they lived at Fakenham, where their second daughter, Rosemary was born, and Mrs Aldiss, who was involved with her local Women's Institute and the Girl Guides, became a JP.

In 1960, Capt Aldiss became marine superintendent at the Ministry of Agriculture's fisheries research laboratory at Pakefield, Lowestoft.

A keen WI member, Mrs Aldiss became president for several years of Hopton Institute. She helped to found the Over 60s and also organised the annual fete for St Margaret's Church. After her husband retired, she supported his work as a Yarmouth borough councillor and Norfolk county councillor.

At the age of 80, they moved to Great Snoring to live near their daughters. She again became involved with the church, serving on the parochial church council, and also the WI. Her love of amateur dramatics even resulted in her rendition of To be a FarmerBoy at the age of 90!

They were delighted to receive a telegram from the Queen to mark their 60th wedding anniversary, but her husband died the following year.

She is survived by her two daughters and two stepsons, Bennett and Peter.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Mary's Church, Great Snoring, on Saturday, May 8, 2pm.


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