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Tributes as fundraising veteran dies

PUBLISHED: 15:32 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:34 06 July 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran Lowestoft fundraiser who died last week.

Billy Hansford, of Claydon Drive, was well known across the area for his work for charities and good causes.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran Lowestoft fundraiser who died last week.

Billy Hansford, of Claydon Drive, was well known across the area for his work for charities and good causes.

Mr Hansford, who had been ill for some time, died last Friday, aged 80.

A former finalist in The Journal's Pride in the Community awards, Mr Hansford supported many organisations, including the Lowestoft Airshow and the town's carnival.

He also took part in the London Marathon and completed a tandem parachute jump to help raise funds for good causes.

A skilled engineer, he made a one-third mock-up of a SE5a first world war fighter aircraft which was a familiar sight on the seafront during the airshow.

Mr Hansford also had a regular spot on air show days near the East Point Pavilion where he would dress up in a first world war pilot's uniform to help boost his fundraising.

Director of the air show Brian Hunter praised Mr Hansford's community spirit.

He said: “Billy was not only a great supporter of the airshow, he was also a great supporter of many community efforts across Lowestoft.

“He raised thousands of pounds over the years, and if there was a good cause in the town that needed help Billy was there. We will miss him terribly and our thoughts are with his family.”

Mr Hansford was a keen motorcyclist and had taken part in the Eastern Lights cavalcade along Lowestoft seafront.

In 2002, he was chosen to help carry the baton through Lowestoft as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Hansford was also a keen photographer, and while filming a video from the town's Claremont Pier during the airshow he captured dramatic scenes when an RAF Harrier crashed into the sea.

Mr Hansford's wife Kathleen died in 2007. He leaves two daughters.

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