Council worker for 37 years dies at 98

A LONG-serving former employee of Great Yarmouth Borough Council has died, aged 98.

Frank Playford was a senior costings clerk in the borough engineers and technical services department for 37 years until his retirement.

Mr Playford died last week at Burgh House care home following a short illness, leaving a daughter and son-in law, five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

A well-known figure in the town, he was timekeeper during wrestling shows at the Hippodrome and worked on the gate at Yarmouth Racecourse for many years.

Born in Southtown, Mr Playford attended the Edward Worlledge School and started his working life as a clerk in a solicitors’ office.

During the second world war he served with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in Egypt and Palestine, and married Eleanor Driver in 1945.

The couple had one daughter, Christine, and were married 57 years before Mrs Playford’s death in 2002.

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A former Great Yarmouth Town footballer, Mr Playford continued to enjoy bowls and darts well into his retirement.

During his years with the council he served as a returning officer at elections, and was a life member of Yarmouth Conservative Club.

His full name was Frank Critten Playford and he was related to the owners of Critten’s boatyard which built many local vessels, including the ill-fated Caister lifeboat Beauchamp.

Mr Playford remained living at his home near Sandown Road until July when he moved to Burgh House.

Daughter Christine said: “Dad was a very kind man. Everybody liked and respected him. He was very old school and taught me the importance of good manners, although I later learned that he had a rude sense of humour.

“Lots of people remembered him for his years as a timekeeper at the wrestling and, on one occasion, Giant Haystacks leapt out of the ring because he rang the bell early.”

“Dad was vigorously opposed to going into a care home, but loved it when he got there and knew the names of all the staff and residents.”

The funeral is at Gorleston Crematorium on Wednesday at noon.