Former mayoress is laid to rest

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HUNDREDS of people packed into a city church to pay their last respects to a former mayoress who played a key role in the Peterborough community.

HUNDREDS of people packed into a city church to pay their last respects to a former mayoress who played a key role in the Peterborough community.Joyce Purser’s funeral was held at All Saints Church, in Park Road, after she passed away earlier this month aged 89.

Mrs Purser was a leading figure in the city for more than 60 years.

She was made Peterborough’s mayoress in 1945, when her father, Albert Viney, fulfilled his term in office.

Mrs Purser then went on to become a magistrate for 17 years, as well as standing as chairwoman for a number of groups, including the police and probation committee.

Perhaps Mrs Purser’s biggest legacy will be her work with Victim Support.

Mrs Purser, who lived most of her life in Mayfield, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, helped people who had to endure terrible tragedies or had been exposed to evil crimes to put their lives back together.

She devoted about 25 years to the service, and was even praised by former Prime Minister Tony Blair at a Downing Street function.

Veteran city councillor Charles Swift, paying tribute to Mrs Purser, said: “There has been no one woman who has been more prominent in Peterborough’s society”.

Mrs Purser was laid to rest at a green burial held at Ketton Park, near Stamford.

Youngest daughter Charlotte said: “She was conscious of her carbon footprint, and this is what she wanted.

“We will miss her terribly.”

Mrs Purser married husband Jack at Peterborough Register Office in 1941, and they started a family living at their Dogsthorpe home. Jack passed away 14 years ago.

They had four children – Adam, Benedick, Louise and Charlotte.