Tributes to South Holland’s great ambassador, Rosemary Biggadike

Rosemary Biggadike.
Rosemary Biggadike.

Tributes have been paid to one of South Holland’s great ambassadors, Rosemary Biggadike, who has died at the age of 84.

Rosemary is fondly remembered for her outstanding public service and devoted support to husband Alan when he was council chairman from 2003-2005.

They were a perfect double act, whether attending the grandest of official events with fellow civic leaders or meeting children taking part in maypole dancing, when they happily joined in with the youngsters’ fun.

Rosemary was a district councillor herself for 12 years, served as a parish councillor, gave many years’ dedicated service to Conservative Party association branches and clubs, and was known for her many good works in her adopted home, Whaplode.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, a friend for more than 20 years, said: “Rosemary’s public service was almost legendary, really.

“She and Alan had been involved in the life of South Holland – and Whaplode in particular – for so long they were very much defined by the public service they gave.”

South Holland District Council leader Coun Gary Porter said of the couple: “They were a proper double act and the perfect ambassadors for what we do.

“Rosemary was one of the members of the council from years ago and was almost rooted in South Holland but, more importantly, from my point of view she was a really nice lady. Obviously she is going to be sadly missed.”

Retired bulb grower Alan passed away aged 79 in May, 2009.

Rosemary continued with her work for the Conservative association and was involved in helping the party in both the general election and district council elections in 2015, attending the count and declaration of results at Springfields.

Her health began to fail in July of last year and she died in Holbeach Hospital nursing home on March 23.

Rosemary was born in Frimley Green, Surrey, and was training to be a nanny at a nursery in Woking while Alan did national service.

Daughter Elaine Gregory said Alan was at a fairground shooting stall when they first met and they met again at a dance that night.

“Mum came to Whaplode for dad’s 21st birthday,” said Elaine. “That’s when she met the family, liked the area and looked for a job around here.”

Rosemary worked as a nanny for a Mr and Mrs Hillman White in Spalding before her marriage in 1953.

Aside from politics, Rosemary took a keen interest in the local town twinning organisations, was a founder member of Whaplode WI and was a governor at schools including Whaplode Primary, the former George Farmer at Holbeach and Spalding High.

Besides Elaine, Rosemary leaves family including daughters Julie and Alison, three sons-in-law, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Elaine says her mum was always immensely proud of her family – and the family thought the world of her.

She said: “She was very family orientated and loved the family occasions.”

Her mum was also characterised by her great sense of fun.

• The funeral service takes place at St Mary’s Church, Whaplode, at 12.30pm on Thursday, April 13. Mr Hayes will be among those paying tribute to Rosemary.