Life of community stalwart finally celebrated in memorial service

A memorial service for Bryan Colman Read was held at Norwich Cathedral on Friday

A memorial service for Bryan Colman Read was held at Norwich Cathedral on Friday - Credit: Archant

A celebration dedicated to the life of a much-loved Norwich figure has taken place almost a year after his death. 

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Third generation flour miller Bryan Colman Read died at the age of 95 in October 2020.

But because of Covid restrictions it has taken a year for his enormous legacy to be fully appreciated at a public gathering.

Made a CBE by the Queen in 1983 for his services to the milling industry and a deputy lieutenant of Norfolk in 1986, there were few walks of county life that Mr Read did not contribute to.

Chairman of the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust, Bryan Read at the Hunters Fleet Yard in Ludham.There a

Chairman of the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust, Bryan Read at the Hunters Fleet Yard in Ludham.There are plans to dig a new access dyke on land next to the yard.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

On Friday more than 200 people were able to gather at Norwich Cathedral to give thanks for all he did during his life and finally pay their respects to him.

Memorial for Bryan Colman at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

In a ceremony led by Canon Andy Bryant, memories of Mr Read were shared as family, friends and other well-wishers paid him their respects.


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Two separate family tributes were read during the service between hymns and prayers while his love of yacht sailing was acknowledged with a reading of Sea Fever by John Masefield.

Bryan Read pays a visit to the Wicklewood Windmill to see the sails re-attached after restoration.Ph

Bryan Read pays a visit to the Wicklewood Windmill to see the sails re-attached after restoration.Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Born in Norwich in 1925, Mr Read was one of the first pupils of Town Close school, where he continued a lifetime connection and spent 25 years as chairman of governors.

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He was recognised as a leader in his industry and twice served as president of the National Association of British and Irish Millers.

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

He was also a passionate supporter of The Broads, spending a decade as president of the Broads Society and was a founder of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Charitable Trust.

Current Broads Authority chief executive John Packman was among the mourners that turned out to pay their respects to him.

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Dr Packham said: "He was always a great supporter of The Broads but was also a great friend.

"He was very wise and knowledgeable and had a great memory of things so was always happy to draw on his experience to help us."

Memorial for Bryan Colman at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Memorial for Bryan Colman Read at Norwich Cathedral. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman


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