Sunday, 29 May 2011

Whenever election time came around in Sawley there was always a good turn out for Bill Camm. Last Friday the turnout for his funeral was equally as impressive. On a sunny but blustery day the people of Sawley turned out in their hundreds to say goodbye to the peoples champion.
Over the course of the last fifty years there cannot be many residents in the ward who have not been helped or know someone who has been helped by the little man with the big heart.

British Legion of whom Bill was a member having served in the Royal Artillery. They slow marched down the church drive in front of the hearse with their standard raised. Formed at the church entrance was a guard of honour comprising of the Royal British Legion, the Fire Brigade and the St Johns Ambulance.
With the church packed the service was relayed to a big screen in the church hall which was also full and standing. Around sixty people who could not be accommodated listened to the service outside on two large speakers. After the opening prayer and the first hymn ‘There is a greenhill far away’ friends and colleagues reflected on Bills life.

Council Leader Chris Corbett spoke first and talked of the bucket of tarmac Bill had produced to repair the pot holes in Sawley because he couldn’t wait for the County Council to do it, and the time he borrowed a Rolls Royce to give voters a lift to the polling station. Carol Hart County Councillor for Breadsall and West Hallam explained that she had asked someone at County Hall if they had a list of the committees Bill had served on over the years and was told that it would be quicker to produce a list of those he hadn’t. She spoke of the number of votes Bill regularly received and said that at one count an officer had commented that it would be easier to weigh Bills votes instead of counting them. Michael Hopkins Chairman of Sawley and Long Eaton Park Cricket Club told of Bills long association with the club. He was elected President to the then Sawley Parkside CC in 1970 and had remained President ever since. He spoke of the time Bill entered a room where the floor had been removed and fell through. After swearing everyone to secrecy he then told everyone himself.
The service which continued with the hymn He Who Would Valiant Be and ended with The Lords My Shepherd, was followed by a private burial in Stapleford.