Tributes paid after former Sudbury mayor Valerie Moulton dies at age of 90
The son of a former Sudbury mayor and town councillor has paid tribute to his mother, who died at the age of 90.
Valerie Moulton was appointed town mayor in 1976, a role which she felt very proud to fulfil.
“She had an ambition to do it,” said her son, Nicholas Moulton. “She referred to it as one of her proudest achievements.”
Mrs Moulton became a town councillor during the 1970s and joined the Labour party as a teenager.
Having a father who was a member of a trade union, with strong beliefs in socialist values, inspired Mrs Moulton in her own political views.
“Socialist values are what drew her to the Labour party,” said Mr Moulton.
Mrs Moulton’s husband, Russell, along with other relatives, were also elected as Sudbury town councillors.
She was chairman of the Stour Valley Centre committee, which ran a day centre for the elderly at Belle Vue House.
After joining in 1972, Mrs Moulton became a dedicated member for more than 30 years.
“It was quite ironic that she was involved in the centre until well in to her 80s, as some of the members were younger than her,” said Mr Moulton.
“She enjoyed serving lunches and being able to provide the elderly with free food and somewhere to socialise.”
Mrs Moulton was a much-valued community stalwart and was involved in many organisations, including the Co-operative Women’s Guild.
She became chairman of the women’s branch of the Royal British Legion, and was a member of Sudbury Town Twinning Association.
Mrs Moulton was recognised for her contribution in the community with an achievement award from Babergh District Council in 2005.
She moved to Sudbury in 1938 when her father worked for the British Rail as a railway guard.
After leaving school, she worked in London during the Second World War.
Mrs Moulton returned to Sudbury and worked for the Rego clothing company at Vanners Silk factory in Girling Street, making military uniform.
She met her husband, who worked as a plumber, on visits to the factory, where he carried out maintenance jobs.
They married at St John’s Methodist Church in 1951.
“They had a dedicated, loving relationship,” said Mr Moulton, adding that his mother was passionate about the town and its community.
“She loved Sudbury – it was her life. She remained interested in everything and always insisted I buy a Free Press for her each week.”
Mrs Moulton was keen to see Belle Vue House, where she volunteered, remain in public ownership.
“She always felt that Sudbury’s assets had been given away,” explained Mr Moulton.
Mr Moulton praised his mother’s strong beliefs, adding: “She didn’t have moderate views. If she had a view, it was a strong one.”