Crowds gather to give former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard fitting send-off

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard's funeral procession taking place on Love Road in Lowestoft. Picture:

Many people gathered outside Crown Meadow to show their respect to Bob Blizzard - Credit: Danielle Booden

Well-wishers have gathered to bid farewell to former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard as his hearse took a final tour of the town he loved.

Mr Blizzard, who died earlier this month at the age of 71, served as Waveney’s MP between 1997 and 2010 and was a frequent visitor to Crown Meadow, the home of Lowestoft Town to cheer on the Trawlerboys' over the years.

Mr Blizzard's funeral procession took him past the football club, in Love Road, at about 12.45pm on Friday, May 27, where he received a round of applause from well-wishers. 

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard's funeral procession taking place on Love Road in Lowestoft. Picture:

Bob Blizzard served as Waveney’s MP between 1997 and 2010 - Credit: Danielle Booden

Those in attendance gathered to show their respect to Mr Blizzard, with some wearing Lowestoft Town scarves as the procession edged past.

The procession then made its way to one of Mr Blizzard's favourite haunts, The Seagull, where his jazz night was held.

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard who is now the new chairman of Jazz Services who are responsible fopr

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard became chairman of Jazz Services after leaving parliament. Pictured at Morlings Music Store on London Road South - Credit: James Bass

It then moved on to pause for a moment at Cefas, which Mr Blizzard had campaigned to keep in Lowestoft, keeping its 530-strong workforce in the town.

Pakefield Cliffs was the next destination to say goodbye to wind turbine, Gulliver.

His 13-year time in the Westminster seat included notable successes, including getting the Tom Crisp Way relief road open to alleviate one of the major traffic bottlenecks in Lowestoft, and obtaining funding for the Orbis Energy Centre. 

People gather to pay their respects to former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard at his funeral procession on L

Some of those in attendance wore Lowestoft Town scarves as a mark of respect - Credit: Danielle Booden

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The Labour politician was one of several gains for Tony Blair’s government in its historic 1997 landslide across the country, becoming the first, and still only, non-Conservative MP to hold the Waveney seat since its creation in 1983. 

He successfully held onto the seat through two more general elections, in 2001 and 2005. 

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard's funeral procession taking place on Love Road in Lowestoft. Picture:

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard's funeral procession taking place on Love Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The latter saw him win by a majority of almost 6,000 ahead of Conservative challenger Peter Aldous, who would go on to win the seat from Mr Blizzard by just 769 votes in 2010, despite a campaign trail that saw comedian Eddie Izzard hit the streets of Lowestoft to support the Labour candidate.

He fought for a third crossing to be built over Lake Lothing, including commissioning a feasibility report to be carried out for a bridge connecting Waveney Drive and Peto Way, and attracting more than 10,000 signatures to a petition calling for the crossing. 

People gather to pay their respects to former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard at his funeral procession on L

Some of the well-wishers outside Crown Meadow included club officials - Credit: Danielle Booden

His love of jazz saw him involved with the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) and founder of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards, as well as becoming chairman of the national organisation Jazz Services, following his departure from politics. He also set up the Lowestoft Jazz Weekend.