Tributes paid to Chepstow ex-councillor, Verona Bamford
A HUGELY respected former councillor from Chepstow has died aged 89.
Verona Bamford, an important Labour figure in town and county politics for many years, passionately represented the Thornwell ward until she was in her eighties.
Her love for the community shone through in husband Thomas, who was also a councillor and they both rose to the role of mayor of Chepstow, her spell coming in 1989-90.
Born in the small village of Seven Sisters, near Neath, Mrs Bamford, was the daughter of miner and author Thomas Idris Lewis.
His legacy lives on in a statue of him called The Ideal Miner at Big Pit museuem in Blaenavon.
Meanwhile his daughter’s will be remembered as a stalwart of the community, said her daughter Kathryn Bamford-Mason.
Mrs Bamford was a county councillor from 1996-2004 and initiated the funds for the Bulwark Community Centre.
“My mum was remarkable. She had steely determination and was well-liked by all parties. Once she had something between her teeth she was like a terrier,” Mrs Bamford-Mason, 53, said.
“She would never blow her own trumpet. Mum was for the people and very community-spirited.”
Mr and Mrs Bamford had three children, but tragedy struck 15 years ago when daughter Tessa, 44, contracted viral meningitis, had an allergic reaction to treatment and died.
“Mum never recovered from it,” said Ms Bamford- Mason, who moved to Chepstow with her family as a one-year-old.
Chepstow Town Council’s clerk Sandra Bushell said the town councillor from 1979 to 2006 did not want to retire, even though she had problems with her eyesight.
“Her contributions to meetings were always well thought out,” Ms Bushell said.
Cllr Armand Watts, who succeeded Mrs Bamford, said hers was a difficult act to follow.
“People knew, understood and adored Verona. She was very much an old school socialist and a role model for me in my early days in politics,” he said of the ex-auxiliary nurse.
Mrs Bamford had been ill since March 2012 and died on February 18 at Chepstow Community Hospital As well as being a muchloved mum, she was also grandmother to Sara, Jonathan and Charlotte, and great-grandmother to Caitlin, Megan and John-Henry.
The funeral, followed by a private family interment, takes place on March 7, 2pm at Chepstow Methodist Church.
Family flowers only, donations for the RNIB may be sent to Philip Blatchly & Son, 5 Station Road, Chepstow, NP16 5PA.