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 Bert Coo


From an obituary by Denis Booth in the Welney News, Issue No. 26:

16-10-1917 to 03-03-2002

Bert Coo came to Welney from Grimsby at the age of seven to live with his uncle, Bob Wilmott, in Sandgate Terrace. He attended the William Marshall School, leaving in 1932 at the age of 14. He worked for Fred Hartley Farms at Lakesend until 1940 when he enlisted in the Army and served with the Royal Artillery in India and Greece. He was demobbed in 1946. On his return to 'Civvy Street', he and Hazel were married in St Mary's in September 1946. They raised two sons, Bernard and Russell.

Bert was successful in gaining employment with the Great Ouse River Authority and was pump attendant at the then newly-erected Welches Dam Pumping Station, which was opened in 1947-48. Later, he took over responsibility for the Colony Pumping Station until his retirement in 1992. He had completed 35 years' service with the Great Ouse River Authority and (its successor) the Environment Agency.

Bert was involved with several organisations in the village. He was elected onto the Parish Council in 1962 and served until 1992. He was assistant and secretary of the Playing Field 1960-1971, secretary for the Parish Hall 1967-1991 and secretary of the Sickness and Benefit Club at the Cherry Tree public house from 1962-1975. He was nominated to serve on the Bishop's Land Charity and did so from 1962-1992.

In 1992 Bert and Hazel decided that a bungalow would make a pleasant change from a house, and moved to Emneth. There, as well as retaining their links with Welney, they made new friends and joined in the normal village social life of whist drives, bingo etc. A very remarkable man!



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