Former Ely mayor dies at the age of 89

Maruice Hobbs when he was Mayor of Ely Maruice Hobbs when he was Mayor of Ely

Monday, June 16, 2014
4:01 PM

A former Mayor of Ely who lived and breathed city life and devoted his time to the community he loved has died at the age of 89.

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Maurice Hobbs, who for 40 years ran M E R Barbers in Market Street with his business partner Eric Wilding, died in the Prince of Wales Hospital following a long illness.

His son Richard, who worked in the barbers shop with him, said: “He was a totally committed and community spirited man.

“He was Ely through and through. He crossed all the barriers of class and age groups.

“He was a devoted family man and a real community figure. He was happiest when he was helping someone else.”

Mr Hobbs, who served as the city’s mayor in 1981-82, was a city councillor for 18 years and also served as a district councillor.

He died of natural causes on Sunday, June 8.

During the Second World War he was a radar and gunner operator in open cockpit Swordfish planes as part of the Fleet Air Arm

Donations at his funeral are being asked to go towards maintaining a rare Swordfish which is stored at the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset.

Community work saw him sitting as president of the Royal Naval Association, sitting on the committee for the Riding for the Disabled Association, president of Fenprobe talking newspaper for the blind and chairman of the Save the Children Fund in Ely.

He was also a lifelong member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos RAOB.

Mr Hobbs, who lived at Vera James House residential home in Ely since the start of this year, was married to the late Joyce Hobbs for more than 60 years and leaves behind three children, Richard, Sandra Angood and Diane Butcher, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His funeral is being held at Fenland Crematorium in March on Friday June 20 at 11.30am and will be followed by a service of thanksgiving at St Mary’s Church in Ely at 2pm, to which all are welcome.

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