Hucknall mourns death of well-known community champ

Eric Croft and wife Stella
Eric Croft and wife Stella

WELL-known Hucknall man Eric Croft (pictured) has died in King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in Ashfield, at the age of 84. He had been in failing health for some time.

Mr Croft, of Park Drive, was born in Adel, near Leeds. His father became a chauffeur and handyman for the Gray family in Linby and during World War Two he had a reserved occupation in the office at Linby Colliery.

A former pupil of Hucknall National School, Mr Croft won a scholarship to Henry Mellish Grammar School, Bulwell. But after his mother’s death, he left at the age of 16 to look after the family hardware shop on Annesley Road, Hucknall.

He afterwards worked as a wages clerk with the National Coal Board, paying out miners at Bestwood Colliery and other local pits, and he then became a salary liaison officer at the board’s No 5 area at Edwinstowe, where he remained until his retirement in 1985.

He saw National Service in the Royal Air Force and later became treasurer of the Hucknall Royal Air Forces Association, which eventually moved to Nuthall.

He also served as treasurer of the Papplewick and Linby branch of the Royal British Legion. A keen stamp collector, he became treasurer of Nottingham Philatelic Society, based on Friar Lane, Nottingham, for 41 years.

Mr Croft was a founder member of Hucknall Probus Club when it was formed in 1995 and served as its treasurer for 15 years until April last year.

He was also a former treasurer of Hucknall Parish Church and a server there for many years. He was a member of the Royal Society of St George, the Byron Charity and Hucknall Titchfield Park committee.

Mr Croft and his wife, Stella, reached the milestone of their diamond wedding in August. He also leaves a daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Paul Rossiter, and a grandson, Alex. Another grandson, Chris, died from illness three years ago at the age of 20.

The funeral service took place at Hucknall Parish Church yesterday (Thursday) and was followed by burial in Hucknall Cemetery. The mourners assembled for refreshments at the Horse and Groom pub in Linby.

There were family flowers only but donations were received for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.