It’s with sadness we announce the death on April 1st of Ray Britt, a long term Labour activist and comrade. We offer condolences to his family. Rest in peace.
His funeral will be on Tuesday 9th April at 2pm at Burlingham St Edmund Church in South Burlingham – anyone who knew him is welcome. After the funeral there is a tea at Sprowston Manor Hotel to which you are also welcome.
Ray always politically minded and strongly believed in social justice. As a student at Cambridge in the 1970s he became very involved in protests relating to social injustice – for example, he went to Paris to show solidarity with the French student protests in 1968 where he was arrested but managed to escape from the gendarmerie! He joined the Grunwick dispute to show unity and strength with Asian women who were being discriminated against. Ray was proud also of his time as President of the Student Union whilst at Cambridge.
After university Ray had a number of careers but the one he found the most rewarding was his time as Head of Computing at City College. Ray said that you had a chance to help people to turn their lives around. A student could walk through the door on an entry course and finish up with a degree in computing and so may career opportunities ahead.
Its unclear when Ray joined the Labour Party but by the late 1990s he was a member in Norwich and was selected as a Labour City Council candidate in the old Coslany ward where he worked closely with Harry Watson. He served as Chief Whip on the Labour Group during a period when the Labour majority was slight and it was a demanding role. He did an excellent job as Chief Whip and during the 2-year period before we lost control in 2002 we never lost a single vote in Council and very few in committee.
After he retired, Ray spent time involved in local politics including a stint on Lingwood and Burlingham Parish Council. He frequently stood as Labour candidate for Lingwood on Broadland DC – he knew is was unwinnable but that never deterred him! he was very active on Burlingham Parish Council and still well remembered there.
He was so committed to the Labour party that only a few days before he died he insisted on signing nomination papers despite being so ill.