Tributes to a political legend

Edmund Wynne and his son Robert.
Edmund Wynne and his son Robert.
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A former mayor of Blackpool and veteran of the Normandy landings has died.

Tributes have today been paid to Edmund Wynne, who passed away at the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association Home, on Lytham Road, in South Shore, on Wednesday. He was 96.

Mr Wynne’s service on the council spanned six decades, and he was appointed mayor in 1972.

His son Robert, 56, who became the first son of a former mayor to also hold the position, paid tribute to “a terrific father”.

He said: “He was very supportive, very understanding and particularly good with my children – he passed on a lot of things to them.

“After they get elected a lot of councillors change and become institutionalised instead of being critical, but he was a person who was always on the side of the ordinary man in the street.”

Mr Wynne was born into a working class family in Yorkshire, but raised in Glasgow.

He served in the Army during the Second World War and was wounded after being shot through the leg during the Normandy landings, though luckily made a full recovery.

During the war he also met his wife Nancy, an aristocrat’s daughter, who died in August last year.

They moved to Blackpool, where he had regularly holidayed as a child, and ran a guest house on the Promenade.

Although Mr Wynne and his wife came from different backgrounds they shared the same politics, and he first stood as a Liberal Party candidate for Blackpool’s Alexandra ward in 1953.

In a shock result, he was elected and named his daughter Alexandra in honour of the people of the area who voted for him.

His service as a Liberal, Independent, and later Liberal Democrat councillor finally ended when he stepped down in 2000.

Away from his working and political life, Mr Wynne was a talented pianist who could play entirely by ear.

He enjoyed golf and was also a keen snooker player, winning a number of tournaments at the Highfield Social Club, on Highfield Road.

As well as Robert and Alexandra, he is survived by daughters Rosalind, Clare and Marilyn, 18 grandchildren and more than 20 great-grandchildren.

His second daughter Deborah died of cancer earlier this year.

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Reaction from the three main parties

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Simon Blackburn, Labour leader of Blackpool Council, said: “He was a man of great intellect, passion and dedication, to both the town and to his family – in whose achievements he took justifiable pride.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Douglas Green said: “He was a good speaker and dynamic force, what Blackpool Council misses now is people of his stature.”

Tory group leader Tony Williams said: “Edmund was a long serving ambassador for Blackpool, a colourful character and well-liked.

“We send our condolences to Robert and all the family.”

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