Molesey Residents Association Says Goodbye to Two Stalwarts
We are saddened to report that two long-term former MRA councillors, both of whom also served as Mayor of Elmbridge, passed away recently.
Vic Eldridge was born in Molesey and lived here all his life. He represented West Molesey on Elmbridge Borough Council for 25 years until he stepped down in 2019. He was a force as Chairman of the Molesey Self Build Group which built the houses in Redland Gardens and Minster Gardens where Vic lived himself. Vic served on the Elmbridge Planning Committee for many years, and was a well-respected Mayor of Elmbridge for the year 2006/07, during which he brought humour and good cheer to the numerous events he attended throughout the Borough.
Vic had a career in the RAF as an electronics technician and later worked for a major UK electronics manufacturing company, which he often represented overseas. On one occasion in Korea, he commented to a waiter that there was a different taste to the beef he was eating. He was not over pleased to be told “Yes sir. It is dog beef.” Vic always said his prime interest was to make Molesey an increasingly pleasant place to live, and this translated into his enthusiasm for open spaces and community facilities. Vic was also a regular at Molesey Day Centre in his later years. Vic’s wife, Margaret, predeceased him and he leaves a son and a daughter. Molesey RA appreciates all he did for the Association and for Molesey, and he will be much missed.
Nigel Cooper was a long-standing Chairman of the MRA, and he served as a Councillor representing East Molesey at Elmbridge Council for 17 years from 1999. Nigel has a very successful year as Mayor of Elmbridge for 2008/09 and was also the Surrey County Councillor for East Molesey and Esher for 4 years, Nigel was a modest man who seldom spoke about his past career, which covered many fields. He was a first-rate Rugby League player for his home city of Leeds, and after qualifying in education he worked in Leeds, Norfolk and Canada. He tended to follow the Norfolk philosophy of his education boss at the time, which was: ‘Don’t tell anyone anything, otherwise they will know as much as you do!’. He seldom spoke about his illustrious career encompassing the Fulbright scholarship in America, and heading up educational reorganisation in Brisbane, Australia. After returning to England, Nigel headed up British Athletics in the days of Coe, Ovett and Brasher, and he then went on to a senior role at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis championships.
In later years, Nigel enjoyed travelling to follow cricket, rugby and squash, and would think nothing of going to Scotland for the day, or to Australia for the weekend. He was always ready with the latest joke, not necessarily repeatable in Council. He also became an expert on the American Civil War, on which he presented a number of well-attended local talks. Although he suffered serious ill-health in later years Nigel was always cheerful, and he will be greatly missed. Nigel leaves a wife, Elizabeth (herself a former MRA Councillor), three sons and a daughter.
Published on Monday, December 6th, 2021
in General Interest