Tributes as much-loved former Wisbech town beadle Alister Hopkins dies following short illness

PUBLISHED: 12:05 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 29 March 2019

Wisbechs former town beadle and true gentleman Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Picture: ARCHANT.

Wisbechs former town beadle and true gentleman Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Picture: ARCHANT.

Archant

Wisbech's former town beadle and "true gentleman" Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness.

Wisbechs former town beadle and true gentleman Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Mayor and Mayoress Jonathan and Susanah Farmer together with the Beadle, Alister Hopkins at the Wisbech Christmas Market. Picture: ARCHANT.Wisbechs former town beadle and true gentleman Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Mayor and Mayoress Jonathan and Susanah Farmer together with the Beadle, Alister Hopkins at the Wisbech Christmas Market. Picture: ARCHANT.

The popular community figure was described as a “credit to Wisbech” by the town council, who announced his death with “extreme sadness”.

Alister passed away at 4am this morning (March 29) after he was taken ill last November.

“From the youngest baby to the oldest resident, Alister always raised a smile and was loved and respected by so many people,” Wisbech Town Council said.

Alister was town beadle from 2003 to 2014 and became a regular and welcome sight out with the mayor.

Wisbech’s former town beadle and “true gentleman” Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Picture: WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL.Wisbech’s former town beadle and “true gentleman” Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Picture: WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL.

Following on from a long career in the police, Alister was diligent in civic procedure and protocol, and took great pride in looking after the mayor and civic regalia.

After a staffing review in 2014 the post of town beadle changed and Alister took advantage of his redundancy to pursue his loves of golf and his family.

He was also overjoyed to become a grandfather in 2017.

Throughout his time as town beadle he was at the forefront of fundraising for many local organisations and helped out at St Raphael.

Wisbech’s former town beadle and “true gentleman” Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Fond memories with DL Richard Barnwell. Picture: WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL.Wisbech’s former town beadle and “true gentleman” Alister Hopkins has died following a short illness. Fond memories with DL Richard Barnwell. Picture: WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL.

In a statement issued by Wisbech Town Council, they spoke of Alister’s Scottish roots and how he “always had a twinkle in his eye”.

They wrote: “If you met him you may have noticed a ‘slight’ Scottish accent, as even after so many years away from his native Scotland his Greenock burr was still in evidence.

“He was very proud of his Scottish roots, and loved nothing better than a good Burns Night or an excuse to wear his kilt.

“He always put 110 per cent into whatever he was involved with, and Alister would combine his duties with charm and although he took his role seriously, always had a twinkle in his eye.

“A long-running joke was George Dunlop hopping off Vivien the fire engine during the Rose Fair parade to offer a bribe of a plate of biscuits.

“He was a lovely colleague and friend, and will be greatly missed.”

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite also added his condolences on social media.

He said: “Incredibly sad, he was a true gentleman that I got to know very well during my Mayoral year. RIP and sincere condolences to his family.”

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