Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Derek Hazell 1930 – 2005

From the Parish News – February 2006

28/05/1930 to 08/12/2005

Derek Hazell gained a reputation in the locality for his genuine enthusiasm and his resilient zest for life. In spite of a continued battle against ill health during the past 30 years of his life, he never allowed this to detract from his determination to continue to work and pursue his hobbies which were in turn to encourage the involvement of his family.

Derek was born in Bedingham, the oldest of a family of four boys. His mother tragically died when he was only seven years old, and he was brought up by his aunts and close relatives. His father helped at Whipps garage at Woodton, and the time Derek spent with him there as a child, gave him the inclination to turn his hand to mechanical projects for the rest of his life. Another tragedy, in the loss of his youngest brother Mervyn, who was drowned while they were fishing together at Woodton sandpits when aged eleven, affected him deeply, and he had a fear of water which he only conquered when he learnt to swim many years later with his sons at a Butlin's holiday camp,

He became known in Denton and Alburgh while working as a baker's rounds-man, before doing his National Service. This brought him to meet Margaret Barber who was living with her parents at Doggett Terrace, Alburgh and in 1955 they married in Alburgh Church.

Their first home together was a cottage at Denton Wash (now demolished), until they moved to the Council House in Norwich Road, Denton, where they were to spend over fifty years of married life together. His work as a long distance lorry driver kept him away for much of the time while their two sons Gordon and Andrew were growing up. Both boys became active in sporting events which Derek encouraged, Gordon won the Gold Award at the "Godric Cycling Club", but it was with Andrew's interest in motorcycle "grass-track" racing that his own inclinations were aroused, and he spent many hours helping to organise the grass- track events at Glebe Farm and other venues for the young enthusiasts, while at the same time endeavouring to tune the bikes to achieve perfect performance. In later years this yearning turned to model aircraft, and he joined Suton Model Flying Club, helping to cut and maintain the runways, as well as converting an upstairs bedroom into a workshop to construct his aircraft. His other hobbies including playing cribbage and he was a keen member of Denton Bowls Club. He and Margaret also enjoyed foreign travel, their most memorable journey was a tour of Poland and Czechoslovakia.

In 1971 the first signs of his illness appeared and he suspected he had jaundice, but eventually leukaemia was diagnosed. Derek had to give up his lorry driving and for five years he was unable to work, but he recovered enough to work at Howards Rotovators, and later drove again for MRTC. After he retired however his troubles returned, and he needed repeated chemotherapy treatment to keep him going, but early in December he suddenly lost his battle.

The service at St Faith's Crematorium conducted by Revd Barry Cramp was well attended.

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