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Tributes to former town mayor

PUBLISHED: 16:46 22 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Mayor of Hadleigh who has died at the age of 62.

Alan Sparkes was remembered for his generosity, his dedication to the community and his good humour.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Mayor of Hadleigh who has died at the age of 62.

Alan Sparkes was remembered for his generosity, his dedication to the community and his good humour.

A former Hadleigh mayor, Gwenn Dunn, 85, said: "I remember him with great affection. When I was mayor, knowing I was a widow, he offered his services should I need an escort to official functions. He was fun with a good sense of humour and genuinely liked people."

Mr Sparkes, who grew up in the town, served as its mayor in 1990-91. He was a businessman as well as a member of many associations, including the town's chamber of commerce and the Hadleigh Lions rugby club.

Squadron Leader Les Dawes, 92, was deputy mayor during Mr Sparkes' mayoral year. He said: "The town has lost a popular and colourful character with the passing of Alan Sparkes.

"He was an active member of many of the societies and sports clubs in the town and a founder member of the twinning association.

"He loved playing darts and started the Dixon darts league, the biggest league in this area, of which he was chairman for many years."

Mr Dawes said it was thanks mainly to Mr Sparkes' efforts that Hadleigh's Town Hall had been renovated.

"If he had his mind set on something, he would see it through. He also organised the local chamber of commerce annual exhibition," he added.

Hadleigh Lions' president Bill Murton said Mr Sparkes had been responsible for getting him to join the club.

"He was good fun to be with and he was absolutely invaluable to us because he knew Hadleigh and he knew the residents. We shall miss him."

Mr Sparkes leaves a widow Veronica, four sons and a daughter. His funeral was being held today.

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