Tributes paid to former lord mayor of Norwich who championed council homes

BERNARD SMITH AND DAPHNE SMITH (LABOUR) WON THE ELECTION FOR CATTON GROVE AT THE CITY HALL FOR THE N

Councillor Bernard Smith, pictured with his wife Daphne - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

A former lord mayor of Norwich has died at the age of 89. 

Bernard Smith, who served on the city council as a Labour member for several years, died peacefully in hospital on Tuesday December 7, surrounded by his family. 

His son, also named Bernard, said: “He was very involved in it [the council] - he never missed any of the meetings and he was always there on the end of the phone for anyone locally, if they just wanted to have a chat.”

He added: “He was one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet really. I’m really lucky to have had him as a dad, I’m really proud of him.”

Mr Smith served as a lord mayor from 1990 to 1991 and during his time on the council he represented Town Close, Catton Grove and University wards. 

Labour Party- Bernard Smith

Bernard Smith was a dedicated member of Norwich City Council for several years, including a term as Lord Mayor of the City. - Credit: Nolan Lincoln

Born and raised in the city, Mr Smith spent his entire working life at Heatrae Sadia - a company which manufactures heating products - joining them as a sheet metal worker and retiring as a time and motion engineer in the company’s office.

“He was a really staunch union man when he was on the shop floor. We used to laugh that that was why they put him in the office, because he was too much trouble,” said Mr Smith Jnr.

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His time in local government saw him meet both Princess Diana, during her 1990 visit to Norwich, and Princess Anne. 

“When he was Lord Mayor, I don’t think he turned anything down - he tried to do everything,” said Mr Smith’s son. 

A season ticket holder at Carrow Road, Mr Smith was also “well into” Norwich City FC and “never missed a match”.

BERNARD SMITH AND DAPHNE SMITH (LABOUR) WON THE ELECTION FOR CATTON GROVE AT THE CITY HALL FOR THE N

Councillor Bernard Smith, pictured with his wife Daphne - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

He is survived by his wife, Daphne, son and daughter, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Council leader Alan Waters said: "Bernard was a long-serving and hardworking city councillor.

“I remember his passion and commitment to the principle that everyone deserved to live in decent quality, affordable housing.  

“He was part of a proud city council tradition committed to building council homes, and Bernard championed that cause throughout his life.

“Bernard was well liked by all councillors across the political spectrum and a popular Lord Mayor – ably supported by his wife, Daphne.”

A service will be held for Mr Smith on January 4 at 2pm at St Peter Mancroft.

  • To pay tribute to a loved one, email norfolktributes@archant.co.uk
  • To view all obituaries and tributes join the Facebook group Norfolk's Loved & Lost.

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