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Tributes following death of former Lord Mayor of Norwich

PUBLISHED: 11:33 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:34 16 May 2018

Barbara Stevenson, pictured in July 1985 when she was Lord Mayor of Norwich. Pic: Archant Library.

Barbara Stevenson, pictured in July 1985 when she was Lord Mayor of Norwich. Pic: Archant Library.

Archant

Tributes have been paid after a former Lord Mayor of Norwich, who served as a city councillor for 25 years, died at the age of 98.

Barbara Stevenson. Pic: Archant Library.Barbara Stevenson. Pic: Archant Library.

Former Labour city councillor Barbara Stevenson, who died on May 1, was elected to Norwich City Council in 1961, and apart for a four year break when she lost her seat in 1967, she represented Catton ward until 1990, when she stood down.

For nearly 30 years, until her retirement in 1983, she was a full-time official for the shopworkers union USDAW (the Union of Shop, Administrative and Allied Workers).

Other roles included working with the Norwich Citizens Advice Bureau, a governor of the then Blyth-Jex School and was a member of local health groups, such as NANSA industries.

She served as Lord Mayor in 1985/6 and made civic history - the first person to have been Lady Mayoress and Lord Mayor, having been Lady Mayoress two years beforehand, when her husband and fellow Labour councillor Leonard was Lord Mayor.

The pair had met through politics, in the city’s Kier Hardie Hall, as members of the Independent Labour Party. They married in 1941.

They joined the Labour party in the 1950s and, after cutting her teeth standing in Mancroft, Mrs Stevenson won in Catton in 1961.

In 1985, when she was nominated for Lord Mayor, she was described as “the sort of person who did not capture the headlines but who ‘does good by stealth’.”

But she did make headlines, for what she described as her “one-woman anti-fly poster campaign”. She was often seen on the city’s streets with a bucket and scraper, removing illegal posters and graffiti.

For many years, Mrs Stevenson and her husband, who died aged 86 in 2007, lived in Elm Hill.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said Mrs Stevenson had a “distinguished” political career and said: “She was part of a generation of councillors and Labour Party activists that helped make Norwich the fine city it is today.”

She leaves a daughter Anya, grandchildren Jonathan, Gavin, Victoria and Alexandra and great-granddaughter Alice.

Her funeral will be held at Earlham Crematorium at 1.15pm on Wednesday, May 23. The family has asked for no flowers, but for donations to the South Norfolk Care At Home Team.

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