Tributes paid to popular former Banbury mayor

Former mayor of Banbury, Patricia Colegrave, has died at home after a short illness. She was 92.
Photo of former mayor Patricia Colegrave as the mayor judging the marrow competition at the Grimsbury Show in 1967. (photo from town of Banbury)Photo of former mayor Patricia Colegrave as the mayor judging the marrow competition at the Grimsbury Show in 1967. (photo from town of Banbury)
Photo of former mayor Patricia Colegrave as the mayor judging the marrow competition at the Grimsbury Show in 1967. (photo from town of Banbury)

She passed away yesterday, during the evening of Monday November 16.

Mrs Colegrave was town mayor in 1967 and a councillor with Banbury Borough Council throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. She was also a town alderman as well as a magistrate on the Banbury bench for more than 30 years until her retirement in 1998.

She was the mother of current mayor Cllr John Colegrave and was at his inauguration at the town hall in May 2019.

Pat Colegrave was born to Stanley and Edna Hall in Deddington in 1928. Her parents ran the bus service from Banbury to Oxford from what became Benfield’s Garage, and they also kept the Kings Arms pub (now the Deddington Arms) in the Market Place.

She went to primary school in Deddington and then to Banbury County School.

She married farmer Harry Colegrave in 1953 and moved to Wykham Park Farm, Wykham Lane, Banbury. They had two children, John and Sarah, and a granddaughter, Elizabeth. Her husband died in 1998. She was an active member of the family business; in her early married life raising cockerels for Christmas, and vegetables for sale at the farm gate.

As well as being a councillor, she was a leading light of Easington Branch of the Conservative Party and became president of North Oxfordshire Conservatives. She represented the Easington Ward for many years and campaigned enthusiastically for the last four members of Parliament for Banbury. Pat was chairman of the Conservative Women for Europe group.

As a councillor her biggest disappointment was the demolition of Brown’s Cake Shop in Parson’s Street, which she saw as institutional vandalism. On the other hand, she considered one of her highlights to be that Wilson’s would always bring the traditional galloping horses to Banbury Fair.

Present mayor Cllr John Colegrave said: “As well as being a farmer’s wife and mother, she was a committed councillor and a tireless worker for the community.

"She was the reason I became a councillor. It was an honour for me to follow in her footsteps as mayor, and it was very emotional that she was there to see me take office."

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