Halstead: Touching tributes to man dubbed 'Mr Halstead'

Halstead Gazette: Halstead: Touching tributes to man dubbed 'Mr Halstead' Halstead: Touching tributes to man dubbed 'Mr Halstead'

Glowing tributes have been paid to a renowned former mayor and retailer described as “Mr Halstead”.

Roy McDowell was the town’s mayor between 1976 and 1979, and, together with wife Joan, oversaw the McDowells retail empire, which at its peak included 11 shops and 100 employees.

Mr McDowell, who was also a former town and district councillor and Braintree Council chairman, died in hospital a fortnight ago.

Family and friends have rushed to pay tribute to the 79-year-old, who lived with his wife in Hedingham Road, Halstead.

Another former Halstead mayor, Michael Gage, now of Willow Tree Way, Earls Colne, said: “Roy set the pattern for how mayors should respond and behave.

“He was the forerunner and took centre stage because he was Mr Halstead really.”

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