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Lord Mayor of Norwich Jenny Lay pictured with Jenny Simpson at the official launch of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Ale made by Wolf Brewery. The event took place at the Murderers on Timberhill, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams
Friday, January 31, 2014
Tributes have been paid to a former Norwich pub landlady and Royal British Legion volunteer who has died aged 73.
Jenny Simpson, a friendly, familiar face to regulars at the former Branford Stores pub in Branford Road between 1999 and 2009, died earlier this month following a short illness.
Mrs Simpson, who lived in the Old Lakenham area of the city, was also a volunteer with the Royal British Legion - helping to organise a shop for the Norwich appeal every year - has been described as a “great character” by her only son Winton who she lived with.
Mr Simpson said his mother, who was divorced, will be “missed by many people in Norwich and across the UK”.
He said: “She was the sort of person who would give counsel to people if they asked for it. She gave advice to plenty of people.”
Mr Simpson, 48, said his mum, who was born in Bedford but moved to Norfolk about 30 years ago, was a “people person” who thoroughly enjoyed her time with him behind the bar at the former Branford Stores pub, between 1999 and 2009 and at the helm of the bar at Norwich City College from about 1989 to 1999.
He said: “She enjoyed it. When we were at the college students wanted to do some fundraising just before Christmas and we had a big Christmas party.”
But it was a party with a difference as they held a beach party and covered the floor of a bar in a “massive sandpit” which really “caught people out”.
Another year Mrs Simpson managed to get a couple of snow machines to ensure that it was another festive party with a difference.
After leaving the licensing trade in 2009 Mrs Simpson saw an advert for volunteers for the Royal British Legion and became heavily involved with the Norwich branch, helping to ensure its appeal was a success every year.
Mr Simpson said: “She went to give some help as she was getting bored. She enjoyed it and gave her advice when it was needed. She enjoyed meeting people and talking to people - that’s what she missed when we came out of the pub.”
Mr Simpson said his mother, who died on January 4, was an “intriguing”, “interesting character” with a “fantastic range of interests with irreproachable integrity and great discretion that people could talk to about anything and know that it would not go any further”.
He added that she was a woman of rich experiences of business, life and cultures that treated people the way she expected to be treated”.
Ernie Green, former president of the Norfolk branch of the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the Norwich area, said: “She got involved in the appeal by responding to a volunteer request and told me she could do a couple of hours and ended up spending nearly three and a half years doing it.
“As a person she was very genuine, really believed in the Poppy Appeal and really tried hard to ensure that each year the appeal was a success. She will be sorely missed.”
Mrs Simpson’s funeral will take place on Friday, February 7 at Earlham Crematorium at 2.15pm.
Any flowers or donations (Poppy Appeal) should be sent via Allcock Family Funeral Services on City Rd NR1 2JZ.
Would you like to pay tribute to a lost loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.