Longest-serving member of Norwich Welsh Society dies aged 96

Myrtle Cullington, a former president of the Norwich Welsh Society, in a blue dress with a glass of bubbly in her hand

Myrtle Cullington, a former president of the Norwich Welsh Society, has died aged 96 - Credit: NORWICH WELSH SOCIETY

The oldest and longest-serving member of the Norwich Welsh Society has died aged 96. 

Myrtle Cullington, who moved to Norfolk more than half a century ago, was born in the small town of Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley, South Wales, in June 1924. 

She attended the Intermediate School, known as the Ink Splashers, and later Gregg Commercial School where she learnt shorthand and typing, skills she used in her working life.

She met her future husband, Norwich-born Dennis, while holidaying in Jersey. The couple eventually moved from Wales to the city after they married on August 16, 1956.

They loved Wales and its culture, so joined the newly formed Norwich Welsh Society in 1967, after previously contributing to The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, based in London.

Mrs Cullington became an active member, taking on roles including secretary and treasurer, before becoming president in 1984. She was involved in a programme of monthly meetings from September to May, and would hold at least one meeting outside during the summer. The high-point of the year was always the St David's Day Dinner and church service on the nearest Sunday following. 

She also supported the Society’s efforts in raising funds and awareness for Welsh charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, and Pancreatic Cancer UK, and was involved in several successful concerts in Norwich.

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Gareth Phillips, the Society's current president, said Mrs Cullington was proud of being its longest-serving member. 

He added: “It is with great sadness that we learnt of [Myrtle's] death.

“She still remained a very active and much-loved member and will be deeply missed by all her many friends there.”

Her involvement in the wider Norwich community included spending years as Brown Owl at the Sprowston Brownie Pack. She was also involved with the St Cuthbert's Luncheon Club. And with her husband, the couple raised funds for the Zipper Club in support of the Royal Papworth Hospital, where Mr Cullington underwent an operation.

Mrs Cullington was very active, taking part in the occasional walk, and enjoyed family life. She was described as having “good humour and a friendly manner”.

She died on March 19 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.