Hadleigh: Perfect goodbye for town stalwart Iain ‘Rusty’ Chisholm

Two-hundred well-wishers packed out a Hadleigh church to bid farewell to a much-loved community stalwart.

Iain “Rusty” Chisholm, a key and committed figure at Hadleigh Allotments, died aged 73 after losing his battle with cancer.

During more than four decades serving Hadleigh, he had also worked on the town council, performed and built sets for the dramatics society, involved himself with Hadleigh Baptist Church and been the caretaker at Hadleigh Guildhall.

Liz Arthur, his daughter, said he was so committed to the town’s allotments he was still doing night-time vandalism patrols in July, despite fighting cancer.

She said it was standing room only at Hadleigh Baptist Church on Monday when 200 people turned out to pay their respects.

Liz paid tribute to her “kind and unique” father before the funeral procession was escorted along a deserted Hadleigh High Street.

“Cars stopped,” she said. “It was like the old respect. The young people today don’t stop but there was lots of marks of respect everywhere.

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“It was a perfect send-off, he would have been chuffed to bits – that so many people thought so highly of him that they turned out and that Hadleigh was brought to a standstill by his funeral procession.”

“He was a big personality,” said Penny Cook, chairman of Hadleigh Town Council.

“He took a great interest in the affairs of the town and was quite outspoken about things he felt passionately about but at the same time he could enjoy life and make you laugh. He was committed to the town, passionate about what he believed in but a very likeable personality.”

Mr Chisholm, who was born in Huddersfield and moved to Hadleigh in 1970, worked for packaging firm H Erben, one of the first businesses on the Lady Lane Industrial Estate. He also worked for Hadleigh-based mast manufacturer Z Spars UK.

He leaves wife Jean, daughter Liz, 48, son David, 43 and grandchildren Rochelle, 25, Lewis, 24, Oliver, 15.

Leave your tributes to Rusty below.

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