GALLERY: Traffic stops for the funeral procession of Patsy Brewin
- Credit: Archant
March came to a standstill as the coffin of Patsy Brewin was taken by horse drawn carriage on a final tour of the town she loved.
A highly polished black hearse pulled by two black horses left her home at Brewin Oaks travelling along Broad Street where it stopped for a moment of silence in front of the shop she used to run with her husband George.
Her coffin, piled high with white lilies, made its way around the market place, passing the town hall where she made so many crucial decisions as a local councillor, before making its way to St Peter’s Church for a funeral service at noon.
The funeral cortege stopped traffic and shoppers bowed their head in silence as it passed before arriving at the church where her coffin was met by four standard bearers from the Royal Naval Association and the Royal British Legion.
Led by the Rev Anthony Chandler, the funeral for 84-year-old Mrs Brewin saw family, friends, dignitaries, councillors and people from the local business community attend to pay their last respects.
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Songs included the patriotic classic Rule Britannia, There’ll Always Be An England, Land of Hope and Glory and a selection of sea shanties as a nod to her association with the local Royal Naval Association.
Refreshments were served afterwards at The Conservative Club in Creek Road in March.
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The former Fenland councillor spent her life involved with local politics and community work.
A primary school teacher at Dartford Infants and Maple Grove, she was a March town councillor for many years and has been described as like the town’s answer to Maggie Thatcher.
With husband George, who died in 2008, they owned a shop in High Street which sold everything from christening gifts, birthday memorabilia, jewellery and wedding gifts as well as running Brewins Funeral Directors.
Mayor Kit Owen said: “She was a real tour de force. She had an air like Maggie Thatcher; she had her own way of dealing with things. People treated her with respect.
“With her husband George you couldn’t go through life in March without coming into contact with the Brewins - they dealt with everything from cradle to grave.”
One of her most notable achievements was being a founder member of FACT community transport of which she remained treasurer until her death.
She was also instrumental in making sure March kept its free parking. She was among councillors in 1993 who pushed for free parking saying that introducing a charge would be the final straw for local businesses.
After retiring as a teacher Mrs Brewin continued to be involved with Maple Grove as a member of the governing body.
The mayor of March in 1988, she was a member of March Educational Foundation.
She met her husband George through their mutual interest in the Conservative Association and they married in 1961 at St Wendreda’s Church, March.