An amazing couple from Biggleswade have decided it’s finally time to take it easy!
Victor and Doris Brunt have spent a lifetime in public service for the Labour Party in Bedfordshire.
Victor. now 92, was born in Biggleswade and took part in the D-Day landings, serving on Tank Landing craft at Gold Beach.
In remininiscences in 2014 he wrote: “In 1941/42 I had a strange training before service in the Royal Navy from March 1943 to June 1946. Having joined the local Sea Cadet unit to give me background training for my Royal Navy service, I combined this with taking part in the Home Guard to ‘defend us against the might of the invading German Army’!
“So I suppose I was the ‘Private Pike’ of the Home Guard platoon comprised mainly of those, like me, working during the day at the depot of the local electricity supplier, First Garden City Ltd.” He was awarded the Legion D’Honneur in 2016.
Victor reformed the Biggleswade Branch of the Workers Education Association in 1948 and both Victor and Doris have been members ever since.
He was elected to Biggleswade Urban District Council in 1952, Mid Bedfordshire District Council in 1974 and Bedfordshire County Council in 1989.
He was also twice Mayor of Biggleswade in 1980 and 2002 and acted as an election agent many times.
And Doris has been a pioneer for women in Bedfordshire. She was born in the East end of London and in 1940 was evacuated to Biggleswade along with her mother and sister.
In 1956 she was elected to Biggleswade Urban District Council, the first woman to do so. From 1976 to 1983 Doris, now aged 88, served on Biggleswade Town Council, becoming the first woman Mayor of Biggleswade.
Victor and Doris first met at ‘The Avenue Club,’ a club for war workers in Biggleswade in 1946. Both Doris and Vic have successfully campaigned on many issues including campaigns to prevent the closure of Biggleswade Hospital, preventing the closure of Stratton School Farm and funding for Nursery Schools in Bedfordshire.
Doris argued successfully for an end to the Biggleswade workhouse, which was replaced with a training workshop for adults with learning disabilities.
John Tizard, former leader of Bedfordshire County Council Labour Group said: “I and many others have been inspired by their values, insight and commitment. Vic was my agent in the 1983 General Election and they have been fantastic comrades”.
Doug Landman, Chair of Arlesey and Stotfold Labour Party said: “I have worked with Doris on both Mid Beds District and Bedfordshire County Council. They have been energetic and inspirational members of the Labour Party and are living legends for us all”.
Julian Vaughan, the Labour candidate for NE Bedfordshire in last year’s General Election said: “Both Doris and Victor are an inspiration to me and others who attempt to follow in their footsteps”.
The couple received a personal letter from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thanking them for their service.