A life dedicated to politics

Ann Murray

Ann Murray

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Former Conservative agent and close friend of MP Ian Gow, Ann Murray, has lost her battle with cancer and passed away at St Wilfrid’s Hospice last week.

Seventy-four-year-old Mrs Murray was a staunch Conservative stalwart and dedicated her life to politics representing Upperton ward on Eastbourne Borough Council from 1988 to 2007. She was also made an Honorary Alderman of the town in 2012.

This week friends and politicians paid tribute to her as she lost her battle with lung cancer and passed away on Friday afternoon with her family at her bedside.

Mrs Murray was born in Guildford and grew up there before moving to Eastbourne as a young woman. She worked as a primary school teacher and later as a secretary for nightclub owner Ray King at King’s Country Club in Pevensey Bay Road.

She married Tom Murray in the 1970s and the couple had a son Clive and made their family home in Elm Grove in Hampden Park.

In recent years the couple moved to Spring Close in Willingdon. Mrs Murray nursed her husband until his death in November 2012 but in February last year she was told by doctors she was terminally ill with lung cancer.

She went in to the newly opened St Wilfrid’s Hospice last week but developed pneumonia and passed away on Friday afternoon with her family at her bedside.

Her step-daughter Glenys said, “Ann was a real lady and very much a people person. She was passionate about politics. In her spare time she did the Times crossword every day, had a large collection of porcelain rabbits and never missed an episode of Coronation Street.”

This week friends and politicians paid tribute to Mrs Murray, who was known as one of a “gang of four” along with friends and former politicians Barbara Goodall, Sheila Charlton and Ann Leigh.

Mrs Goodall, a former Conservative councillor with Mrs Murray, said, “Ann was a lovely lady and a great friend. She knew she was terminally ill and was prepared for it very well, but nevertheless, the end came much sooner than we thought it would.”

Friend and county council chairman Colin Belsey said, “I remember Ann from the start of her involvement in politics and spent many a time with her and Tom at their house in Elm Grove. Ann was a lovely lady and a very good councillor. We worked closely together during the years when Ian Gow was our MP when Ann worked for the Conservative Association. She was still serving as a member of Ratton ward Conservatives and will be greatly missed by everyone involved with Ratton. I will miss Ann very much.”

Former Tory MP Nigel Waterson said, “Ann was a lovely lady who despite many years in local politics never had a bad word to say about anybody. She was touchingly devoted to her husband Tom and her family. Ann was a very conscientious local councillor who worked tirelessly for her constituents. She was a loyal and committed supporter of both Ian Gow and myself, working for some 30 years in the local Party and the constituency office.”

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