Former Ely Mayor, Les Langford, Has Died, aged 76

LES LANGFORD A FORMER mayor of Ely, Les Langford died on March 2 at Woodlands Care Centre in Cambridge, aged 76 years. Although he was not born in Ely, Mr Langford spent most of his life in and around the city serving the community. Mr Langford was born L

LES LANGFORD

A FORMER mayor of Ely, Les Langford died on March 2 at Woodlands Care Centre in Cambridge, aged 76 years.

Although he was not born in Ely, Mr Langford spent most of his life in and around the city serving the community.

Mr Langford was born Leslie Edelstein, the youngest of three children of a Jewish family in Whitechapel, East London. In 1939, Les and his sisters were evacuated to Stretham and Les was billeted with Mr and Mrs Langford at The Sun Pub. He went to school in Stretham and Chatteris and at the end of the war, due to hardships for the family back in London, it was decided he should stay in Stretham.


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After school Mr Langford worked at Hepworth's tailors, but was called up for National Service in the RAF where he trained as a cook and was stationed in Egypt and Iraq during his three years in service.

On his return he worked as a carpenter and builder for Sindalls and for Dolbys. He also worked for Alfred Woods timber merchants in Ely.

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It was round this time that he decided to change his name to that of the family which had taken him in as an evacuee and also to adopt the Anglican faith, being christened and confirmed in his early twenties.

In 1959 he married Hilary Warren and they had three children: Mark, Claire and Rachel. The marriage ended in 1992.

In 1963 Mr Langford went to college to study for a Diploma in Youth Work. He worked in the Youth Service for 18 years. In 1976 he was elected to the City of Ely Council, where he served for 23 years, being elected as mayor of Ely in 1991. He also served for 10 years on East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Mr Langford was made redundant from the Youth Service in 1981 and built a new career selling home improvements as Langford's Kitchens.

He retired in 1999 and lived for periods in Hunstanton and Downham Market but returned to Ely where he spent the last years of his life before his ill health caused him to move into nursing care. In his retirement Mr Langford involved himself with the RAF and royal Naval Associations and spent time gardening.

He is survived by his three children, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

A thanks-giving service was held in his memory at St Mary's Church in Ely on March 12.

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