Tributes pour in for Aylsham’s Liz

Just Regional
Nov 20, 2014 5 mins read

The town of Aylsham is mourning the loss of Liz Jones, who died yesterday after a short illness.

Liz, who had been at the forefront of community life for decades, died in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, aged 60.

Hundreds of tributes poured into the Facebook page of Aylsham Parish Church after vicar The Rev Andrew Beane posted a message about her death. He said: “Like so many other people in Aylsham, and beyond, we are devastated by the death of Liz Jones. Following a short illness Liz died peacefully in her sleep at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital. She died as she lived, thinking of others, totally dignified and organising everyone and everything.

Liz was a churchwarden, town councillor, shop manager, community champion, but above all good friend and neighbour.

We will never forget Liz who shone like a jewel in our community and through her servant-hood and leadership richly blessed our church and town.”

He said a photo of Miss Jones put on the church’s Facebook page was seen by 4,500 people yesterday.

In an email to Aylsham vicar the Rev Beane, the Bishop of Norwich said: “The loss to Aylsham is incalculable. She has been a huge gift to the town and the parish church.”

The town council paid tribute to Liz in a statement from chairman Mathew Martin. He said: “It is with great sadness that Aylsham has lost one of its most formidable councillors in our recent history.  Liz first joined council in May 1978 and apart from a small break, was always a hard working councillor, a friend, and a support to all new members and indeed the town.

“If Liz were a stick of rock she would have Aylsham stamped right through her from top to toe – she was, pure and simply, Miss Aylsham.  A wise owl, that could stir council up, encourage debate and whether the decision turned out right or wrong, she would always look at what to do to improve things for the town of Aylsham.

“She was an outstanding ambassador for Aylshams Cittaslow Status and worked hard in improving the quality of life in Town.  She chaired the Councils Cittaslow Committee and represented Aylsham at national level.

“She was our chairman from 2006-2010 and was always happy to explain procedures and give encouragement to me when I was a new councillor and to others.  Even though we may have disagreed at times, we always left the council chamber as friends, knowing that we were both trying to do the best for our town.

“We have lost a dear friend and colleague on Council, and the Town will miss her very much.  She had her fingers in many pies over the years and all those she supported will be forever grateful for her help and advice in all things. Thank you Liz for all your achievements and for the legacy you have left behind here in Aylsham.

Liz was manager of the town’s Market Place Break charity shop for 17 years, and a town councillor. She spearheaded an unsuccessful public campaign to keep the town’s community St Michael’s Hospital open and was a driving force behind Aylsham’s successful bid to become a pilot UK Cittaslow town. She revived Aylsham’s carnival and introduced the Aylsham Food Festival. She was a guest at the festival dinner, prepared and served by students at Aylsham High School, last month.

Liz Richards, Break marketing officer said: “We are all devastated and her shop colleagues even more so.” And Phil Goddard, deputy CEO of Break released this statement: “Liz Jones was manager of Break’s charity shop in Aylsham for 17 years during which time she turned the shop into one of Break’s most successful, but her contribution to Break was far more than this.  She was a stalwart of the Staff Consultation Forum, which for a time she co-chaired, representing her colleagues with fairness and integrity.  She was an inspiration, not only to her own staff and volunteers, but also to all her colleagues at Break.  Liz will be greatly missed by them all.”

Former Aylsham Town Clerk, Mo Anderson-Dungar said that her love for the town was behind everything she did: “Always keen to find ways to put Aylsham on the map Liz was the driving force behind the town’s accreditation as a Cittaslow in November 2004. She always said that  “Cittaslow fitted Aylsham like a glove” – it was recognition of all that Aylsham was, not, as some thought, a mechanism for regeneration. From chairing the Steering Group, Liz became chairman of the formal Cittaslow Committee and represented Aylsham on the Board of Cittaslow UK, which she also chaired from 2010 to 2012.  Her passion for Cittaslow took her across the UK and to South Korea and Poland, as well as hosting many overseas visitors and proudly showing them around Aylsham.   As a founder member of Slow Food Aylsham, Liz was able to fulfil another ambition – the Aylsham Food Festival, now firmly established as an annual event in the town’s calendar, earning Aylsham another accolade as a ‘foodie town’  Liz’s love for her town and its people were at the heart of all that she did, she will be greatly missed by us all.”

■ The funeral service will be held at Aylsham Parish Church on Wednesday, December 3, at 1pm. It will be followed by burial in Aylsham cemetery, and tea and cake at the church. Donations, instead of flowers, should be made to Break, and there will be a collection during the service for the parish church.

Liz with Students at the Pride in Norfolk awards in 2008.

Liz with Aylsham High students at the Pride in Norfolk awards in 2008.



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