Tributes paid to former mayor and council stalwart

Marion Haywood, who has died at the age of 85
Marion Haywood, who has died at the age of 85

Tributes have been paid to a two-time mayor of Warwick who served as a town and county councillor for decades.

Marion Haywood, a Conservative town councillor who first got a seat on the authority in the 1970s, died peacefully at the age of 85 after suffering with dementia in her later years.

Fellow town councillor Gerry Guest knew her for 25 years and spoke fondly of their time working together.

He said: “Marion was kind, friendly and hard-working.

“She would do anything for people in Warwick - you could go to her with any kind of complaint or issue whether you supported her or not.

“When it came to some of the smaller organisations’ issues she always went into them very strongly to find out the state of everything.

“She didn’t just talk off the top of her head about things - she went to places and people and found out for herself but in a quite unassuming way.

“I think her knowledge of the town in such a short time was her greatest quality.

“I’ve found it very hard having known her for so long. It’s just so sad.”

Between 1997 and 2005, she and Joey were the only Conservative representatives on the council, which he believes helped cement their friendship.

Gerry joked they would hold their group meetings inside a telephone box during this time. He added: “It brought us much closer together. We enjoyed fighting against the other councillors but it was all very friendly.

“Overall, as long as you’re doing the right thing for the town as she was you’re doing well in the public’s eyes. It’s not just me saying it - it’s across the board.”

Marion also sat on Warwickshire County Council for 20 years between 1989 and 2009, serving Warwick South. She was made chair of the county council between May 2008 and May 2009.

Marion’s husband, Jim, often helped her in her council activities, and was as devoted to Warwick as she was.

He died at the age of 83 in 2011, just after Marion first showed signs of dementia.

She eventually moved to Woodloes care home to be looked after full-time.

In a statement, a spokesman for Warwick Town Council said: “It is with great sadness that we have been informed that Marion Haywood passed peacefully away after a long illness.

“She, along with husband Jim, was committed to Warwick and its residents and gave much of her time and herself for the benefit of this town she so loved.”

Her funeral will be at St Mary’s Church on Tuesday August 30 at 10am.