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Tributes to former mayor of Watton Lorraine McCarthy

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 May 2017

The former mayor of Watton, Lorraine McCarthy at her civic service, held at the Methodist Chapel in Watton. Photo by Christopher Surridge

The former mayor of Watton, Lorraine McCarthy at her civic service, held at the Methodist Chapel in Watton. Photo by Christopher Surridge

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A loving mother of two and a wonderful friend to many, former mayor of Watton, Lorraine McCarthy, passed away last month aged 74.

Lorraine McCarthy was a keen actress and did some photographic modelling, here she is aged 18. Picture: Kim Surridge Lorraine McCarthy was a keen actress and did some photographic modelling, here she is aged 18. Picture: Kim Surridge

After spending many years as a Watton Town council member, Mrs McCarthy put on her mayoral chains in 2013 with great pride and enthusiasm, said daughter Kim Surridge.

She attended all mayoral receptions at Thetford, Attleborough, Wymondham, Norwich and Dereham, always dressed to impress and wore a smile.

“That was my mum, she was always dressed up.” Mrs Surridge said. “She was very glamorous and always looked grand. She would always have a joke with you, she was very funny.”

Mrs McCarthy moved to Watton with her family at a young age when her father was stationed at RAF Watton as a warrant officer.

Weco Engineering owners Paul and Lorraine McCarthy. Picture: Ian Burt Weco Engineering owners Paul and Lorraine McCarthy. Picture: Ian Burt

Her mother also served her country in the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron.

When Wayland High School opened in 1958, Mrs McCarthy was one of the first students to attend the new school, becoming the first head girl in her final year.

But despite her dreams of becoming a ballet dancer and being crowned Watton carnival queen in 1961, Mrs McCarthy would hang up her heels and sport the green colours of Watton Football Club, of which she was life vice president and supporter to the end.

Mrs Surridge said: “She did a lot of work for the football club, she used to go every Saturday, she raised money for them several times.”

Wayland Show on August 4, 2013. Paul and Lorraine McCarthy. Picture: Bob Hobbs Wayland Show on August 4, 2013. Paul and Lorraine McCarthy. Picture: Bob Hobbs

In 1967, Mrs McCarthy and husband Paul founded Weco Engineering Ltd, which produces large-scale steel products. She was also a trustee for charity Watton in Need.

Mrs Surridge added: “All the employees of the company were part of mum’s family. I never realised how many people knew her, she was a lovely person and a very good listener.

She was a big socialite, everyone said when you went out with her she was very good fun.”

In her end of term mayoral speech, Mrs McCarthy said she had been “very proud” to represent Watton.

Mrs McCarthy leaves a husband, Paul, son Kevin and daughter Kim, and four grand-children.

Her funeral will take place on Friday, May 19 at St Mary’s Church, Watton (12-noon).

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