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Tributes paid to former Rougham Estate manager who worked at Rougham Aviation Museum



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Tributes have been paid following the death of a ‘hugely talented’ and ‘loyal’ man who played a leading role at a country estate where he worked for more than three decades.

Melvin Cocksedge died aged 67 last month after a heart attack at his home in Rougham.

He worked at the Rougham Estate for 34 years, joining in 1987 as an accountant, but throughout his tenure took on a number of other roles including helping with maintenance and repairs, organising events and selecting the Christmas tree. By the time of his death Melvin’s designated role was both estate manager and accountant.

Melvin Cocksedge's colleagues were 'absolutely devastated' following his death. Picture: George Agnew.
Melvin Cocksedge's colleagues were 'absolutely devastated' following his death. Picture: George Agnew.

George Agnew, chairman of the Rougham Estate Trust, interviewed Melvin back in 1987 and worked alongside him until his death.

He said him and his team were ‘absolutely devastated’.

“He wasn’t just a key member of our staff, but he was a close friend and it’s been a major blow,” he said.

George Agnew said Melvin was 'incredibly reliable, very calm and very efficient'. Picture: Tom Soper.
George Agnew said Melvin was 'incredibly reliable, very calm and very efficient'. Picture: Tom Soper.

“But we are getting over it and we are plugging the gaps.”

George said despite Melvin’s private nature, the two developed a close bond over the years.

“He was a private person, but when you work with somebody five days a week for 34 years, you get to know each other quite well,” he said.

George and Melvin shared birthdays just a few weeks apart, something George said was an ongoing joke in the office.

Melvin spent time on the committee at the Rougham Aviation Museum. Picture: Mecha Morton.
Melvin spent time on the committee at the Rougham Aviation Museum. Picture: Mecha Morton.

Most of all, George said Melvin was ‘incredibly reliable, very calm, very efficient, and had a very dry sense of humour’ to the point where sometimes people meeting Melvin for the first time could not quite gauge whether he was actually joking or not.

Over the years, Melvin also spent time working alongside volunteers at the Rougham Aviation Museum, both as a committee member and an organiser of events.

The museum issued a statement on Facebook following Melvin’s death saying he would be ‘sadly missed’.

Melvin one year helped Mark Cordell, then chief executive of Bid4Bury, to select a Christmas tree to be put up in the Traverse in Bury St Edmunds.
Melvin one year helped Mark Cordell, then chief executive of Bid4Bury, to select a Christmas tree to be put up in the Traverse in Bury St Edmunds.

Shirley Clark posted on the statement: “We have some brilliant memories of Rougham and most of the early ones involve Melvin, bit like the time we took Basil’s jeep for a ride and nearly ran Melvin off the road.”

Andrew Caldecott, a member at the museum, said he had only met Melvin a couple of times but described him as a ‘gentleman’.

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