Death of Former Chairman Cyril Durrant

The former potato and pea farmer from Ashmanhaugh died aged 83 in a nursing home on Friday after illness forced him to step back from a busy public life in recent years.

Mr Durrant’s record of service to the county he loved ranged from decade with parish and district councils, to a passion for rugby.

But he was also a stalwart member of the Broads Authority and former chairman of the Nancy Oldfield Trust charity offering Broads activities to those with disabilities.

His commitment to the community earned him an MBE in 1994, and admiration from everyone he met with a trademark firm handshake and broad smile.

He was one of a handful of independent members of North Norfolk District Council - and a “father of the council” figure always happy to guide younger members.

In 2003 on donning the chairman’s chain for the third time his advice to newcomer councillors was: "Be patient. You won’t change things overnight. You can win the odd battle, but wars take longer."

Shortly after leaving agricultural college he found himself in charge of the family 60-acre smallholding earlier than expected when his father died.

Mr Durrant rolled up his sleeves to tend the land, and pigs – leading to expansion, and a move to Ashmanhaugh, to become one of the biggest potato growers in the region.

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