Unsung community hero dies aged 90

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A community champion from Eastwood has died, aged 90.

Described as a ‘legendary’ councillor, Hazel Braithwaite was Eastwood Mayor 18 times and in 2002 was honoured with Alderman of the Borough of Broxtowe.

Current Eastwood town councillor Brian Griffin described her as an ‘unsung hero’.

“She was a lady everyone looked up to. She was a community lady and a people’s person. An unsung hero.

“Hazel led by example. She worked tirelessly to make a difference, which she did. She was always there for people and I feel proud to have known her.”

From a young age Hazel, who lived in Eastwood all her life, was encouraged by her father to help in the community and it was no surprise when she became secretary of the town’s Labour group.

She was first elected to the former Eastwood Urban District Council in 1970 and in 1976 she was elected onto Broxtowe District Council, continuing until 1999. In 1992 she was elected as the Mayor of Broxtowe.

As a councillor she gave her time freely to several local organisations. She was the chairman of Eastwood Cancer Research, a Governor at Brookhill Leys School and Hall Park School and was a volunteer for the church visiting scheme.

One of her most treasured memories was the work she did as chair of the Parkside Special School.

She was sad the campaign to keep the school open failed and was on the front line at County Hall with her banners to lobby Nottinghamshire County Council at the time.

A Broxtowe Borough Council spokesperson said: “Her caring nature and quiet, elegant and unassuming manner won her a place in the hearts of the people of Eastwood.

“As a councillor she was regarded as a social worker and friend to the many people who have knocked on her door for help, having provided them with comfort and assistance far beyond the call of duty.”

Hazel went to Beauvale School and then Eastwood School on Walker Street until she was 15. She worked for a short time for Aristoc and then, during the war, as a ledger clerk at Burtons, Eastwood.

In later years she was a popular and hardworking receptionist at Church Walk doctors surgery until she retired in 1988, aged 65.

She married husband, Lew, during the war years. The couple have a daughter, Jill, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The funeral will take place on December 9 at 11.45am at Mansfield Crematorium.