Bury St Edmunds: Goodbye ‘Mr Bury St Edmunds’

Mike Ames

Mike Ames

Hundreds of mourners have gathered today to say farewell to a “colourful character” who earned himself the nickname ‘Mr Bury St Edmunds’.

Such is the legacy of Mike Ames, who passed away on May 27 aged 77, that there was a civic procession through Bury St Edmunds to his funeral at St Edmund’s Church in Westgate Street.

The church was completely full, with the congregation dressed in bright colours and flamboyant bow ties, just as Mr Ames had wished.

His grandson Louis Palliser-Ames said his grandfather had had many roles: artist, musician, writer, teacher, councillor, mayor, a religious man and a traveller.

He described him as “unique,” “single-minded” and “a beautiful human being”.

“His quiet support for me, his quiet support for the rest of the family, his quiet support for everyone was absolutely unbelievable,” he said. “The way he listened to people was really what granddad’s strength was.”

He said Mr Ames was “an absolute celebrity within the town,” adding: “Most of the time I spent with granddad was waiting for him to finish chatting to people he knew in the street.”

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Mr Ames, who was a devout Catholic, was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2012 for services to the community in Bury St Edmunds.

He was a committee member of the Bury Society and had clocked up 25 years as Bury in Bloom chairman before retiring from the role.

Councillor Paul Hopfensperger, who has known Mr Ames for many years, said his “passion” for the In Bloom project “has left us with a legacy that can be seen all around the town today”.

For the full story and photographs read tomorrow’s East Anglian Daily Times.