Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Carol Godley

Since the tragic loss of Carol Godley in the early hours of Friday 22nd February, I have been asked many times, "What did Carol mean to you?" Well, I am but a relative newcomer to Godmanchester, but she changed my life, just like the way she changed the life of every one of us in Godmanchester.

Most people in Godmanchester probably knew Carol from her role as receptionist at Dr Weyell's surgery, where she worked for almost 23 years. It was from this position that Carol knew all of us by name. To many she new several generations of families.

Privately, Carol was a family person. She was one of four children and was born in Tottenham North London just after the end of the war. In Godmanchester, Carol and husband Peter always had their hands full with the children and grandchildren, weekdays as well as weekends.

I first met Carol in the Autumn of 2003. It was a Conservative party function. Carol had a disagreement with another political party and joined ours. I was never sure if it was because of her political beliefs because Carol was above politics and just wanted to do what she could to improve the lives of all in Godmanchester.

Indeed when I recently spoke about her at District Council I likened her to Queen Boudica. She kept out all that was bad for Godmanchester and let in all that was good. Believe me, you never hear about all the changes that people wish to enforce on Godmanchester and I was privileged to join Carol in fighting them off. No, that's not exactly the way it was! Carol was the leader for Godmanchester and she was very firm with me: "don't interfere on that one Colin, I have been working on that for ages and..."

The emails went on late into the night. I receive about one hundred emails a day as County, District and Town Councillor. Carol was a Town and District Councillor, Justice of the Peace, Neighbourhood Watch, Police Liaison, on the Board of Luminus as well as many other dutuies.

Carol became Mayor of Godmanchester in May 1998. Then the Town Clerk worked from home and direct contact between the Town Council and the townspeople was not straightforward. Carol wanted a fundamental change, which could be achieved only by the establishment of an office in the Town where people could meet the Town Clerk and councillors face to face. She believed, deeply, in personal contact. The only possible location for an Office was a store-room upstairs in the Old Town Hall. This building had been leased to the Senior Citizen's Club for years and her first step was to convince them that the Office was a good idea. This she did with her usual good grace and some exemplary negotiating skills.

Carol gained her position as Mayor of Godmanchester in 1999. During those 2 years she made a lot of friends with her opposite numbers as Mayors of other Towns and also through the Town Twinning; privately visiting Wertheim in Germany on an annual basis.

Determined to keep busy and finishing her period as Mayor in May 2000, Carol stood for District Council the same month and was elected with a majority of 94. She increased this to 324 at the June 2004 election. Carol was due to stand again this year, but tragically that was not to be.

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