Thank you, Bill

The death has sadly been announced of Bill Bellerby MBE, a great servant of both Guildford and the Labour Party, who celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year.

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Although born in South Wales, Bill, and his wife Doreen, became the great symbols of public service in Guildford.  Known as Mr and Mrs Guildford, the couple worked unceasingly for the Labour Party once they moved to the area in 1946.

Bill was a Borough Councillor for 43 years, served two terms as a County Councillor, twice stood for parliament and was Mayor from 1972/1974.

During his time on the council Bill served on almost every Council Committee, but took a particularly keen and active interest in the arts, activities for young people and disabled groups.

Away from his political work, Bill was an inspirational teacher and after working in several schools around Guildford became Head of Knollmead Primary School in Tolworth for 19 years before retiring in 1979.

Bill has been at the heart of Guildford Labour Party over many decades. Alongside his enormous work for the local community he has often acted as a great role model to those who knew him well. One of these is Emily Thornberry, currently Shadow Foreign Secretary, who knew him well during her childhood. At his recent 100th Birthday celebration Emily joined the local party in a celebration, expressing her gratitude for the support Bill had provided for her family when growing up in Guildford.

Together with his wife Doreen, he was awarded the MBE in 1991 in recognition of his services to the community and in the same year they were both awarded Honorary Degrees by the University of Surrey.

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