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Tributes paid at funeral to former Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan

PUBLISHED: 16:09 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:20 06 July 2018

The funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Burt

The funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Burt

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An emotional farewell has been given to former Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan.

The funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian BurtThe funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Jordan’s funeral service took place at St Nicholas Church in Dereham today (Friday, July 6).

More than 300 people were there to see off the larger-than-life character, who died on June 9 aged 73.

Spencer Jordan, one of Cliff’s three children with his wife Ann, was among those who read tributes.

Spencer said his father was: “The Norfolk boy who was true blue through and through, a larger-than-life character.

Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

“Never perfect, but in his words, ‘I’m not far orf’.”

He said his father took every opportunity to teach them something, and would sometimes take a coin and hide it behind his back, asking him to try to pick what hand it was in.

He said: “This taught me that you can take a chance in life, but be prepared to lose as well as win.”

Spencer also spoke of Mr Jordan’s diverse interests, which included motorbikes, speedway, animals (especially Jack Russells), model planes, kites, fishing and beekeeping.

The funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian BurtThe funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Burt

He said he was proud of having always fought for the county he loved.

“He made a difference to Norfolk life and the people in it,” he said.

Joe Jordan, one of his grandsons - Mr Jordan was also a great-grandfather - spoke of his “big belly laugh” whenever he went see him in Westfield, near Dereham, where he lived.

Alison Thomas, who Mr Jordan’s county council deputy leader, also gave a tribute, saying: “He wanted to do his best for the people of Norfolk.

The funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian BurtThe funeral service for former County Council Leader Cliff Jordan was held at St Nicholas Church in Dereham, on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Burt

“He truly believed that if you give people the truth they will respect that honesty even if they don’t like what is being decided upon.”

She said one of his proudest achievements as a councillor was the purchase of land at the former RAF Coltishall base, which became Scottow Enterprise Park.

Mr Jordan, who also served on Breckland Council for 24 years, became a county councillor in 2001 and resigned just weeks before his death, after having been diagnosed with lung cancer.

After the funeral, a private committal was held at St Faith’s Crematorium, before a gathering at Dereham’s Aldiss Park.

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