Dereham’s ‘unique’ stalwart Barry Briggs dies aged 83

PUBLISHED: 14:59 10 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 10 March 2018

Barry Briggs. Picture: NANCY BRIGGS

Barry Briggs. Picture: NANCY BRIGGS


A Norfolk youth support worker, who dedicated decades of his life to helping young people in his community, has died at the age of 83.

Barry Briggs and his dog Holly. Picture: NANCY BRIGGSBarry Briggs and his dog Holly. Picture: NANCY BRIGGS

Dereham stalwart, Barry Briggs, died at home in the early hours of February 6, with his wife at his side.

Mr Briggs, who was born in Sheffield, was a retired principal youth and community officer for Norfolk County Council, as well as a school governor, Rotarian, and keen golfer.

Before he moved to the county, he played professional football for Bradford City AFC between 1951 to 1957. Joking that he would never get the high salary of some footballers, he turned his hand to youth work.

In 1960 he became part of the first intake at a special college, now part of Leicester University, to become a trained youth worker. It was during his time working as a community officer in King’s Lynn, he first met Nancy.

Barry Briggs. Picture: NANCY BRIGGSBarry Briggs. Picture: NANCY BRIGGS

In 1972 he was transferred to Norfolk County Hall and shortly after his appointment to principal youth and community officer for Norfolk in 1990, he took early retirement. Quick to return to youth work though, he became a school governor at Neatherd High School and at Dereham Sixth Form Centre.

In 1981 he married Nancy and they lived together at Beetley for six years before moving to Swanton Morley in 1987.

During this time, friend Ken Davis, introduced him to Rotary and subsequently Mr Briggs joined the Rotary Club of Norwich. He later transferred to the Rotary Club of Dereham, where he served as president during 1996-1997 and secretary during 1998-2002. In 2015 he transferred to the Rotary Club of Swaffham.

Golf was another of his passions and he often played at Dereham Golf Club.

Mrs Briggs said they had enjoyed travelling the world together.

“He was unique,” she added. “We thank God for knowing him, working with him, playing with him and loving him as the many, many cards in our home indicate where the words humour, friendship and lovely man occur again and again.”

A private funeral service took place on Monday, March 5.

A celebration and thanksgiving for his life will take place on Wednesday, March 21, at 1.30pm at St Nicholas Church, Dereham.

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