TRIBUTES PAID TO

TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who was awarded the MBE for her services to the hotel and catering industry.Doris Hatfield, of Southwold, died earlier this month at the age of 87 following a short illness.

By David Lennard

TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who was awarded the MBE for her services to the hotel and catering industry.

Doris Hatfield, of Southwold, died earlier this month at the age of 87 following a short illness.

She had been responsible for the development of some of Suffolk's most prestigious private hotels but also worked tirelessly for a number of good causes.


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Since moving to Southwold, Mrs Hatfield became well known for her friendly attitude to everyone she met and for her determination to improve community facilities in the seaside town.

Town mayor Geraldine Bryant said: "Doris was a remarkable lady who did so much to support many organisations in Southwold.

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"I remember in particular she was the driving force behind the renovation of St Edmund's Hall."

Dudley Clarke, of Southwold's Chamber of Commerce, also paid tribute to Mrs Hatfield.

"I was fortunate to know her through our work in the hotel trade and when we both ended up in Southwold I was delighted to meet up with her again," he said.

"There are a great many organisations in the Southwold area that are grateful for the support she gave them and she will be sadly missed, but always remembered with fondness."

Mrs Hatfield's career in catering began with the award of a scholarship to study at the Leicester Domestic Science College.

In 1938 she graduated with a domestic science teachers diploma and this was followed by a number of teaching posts, through which she developed a strong commitment to training which underpinned her approach to the industry for the rest of her professional life.

It was during this period she married and began to raise the family of five children of which she was so proud.

In the late 1940s Mrs Hatfield moved away from teaching, becoming manager of the Trust Houses Crown Hotel in Woodbridge with her husband.

In 1953 the family took over the lease on the Golden Lion Hotel in Ipswich and in 1956 purchased an old Tudor property, Belstead Brook, which she transformed into a 25-bedroom country house hotel.

Mrs Hatfield was instrumental in the creation of the industry-leading Hotel and Catering Institutional Management Association (HCIMA).

Her energy, enthusiasm and professional expertise were retained when she was elected as the joint first president of the newly-created body.

Mrs Hatfield's agile mind, strength of character, and firm belief in high professional standards were matched by a willingness to explore new ideas and examine innovative solutions.

She remained committed to her profession, publishing a respected textbook, Professional Housekeeping in 1986, as well as acting as an examiner in this subject for many years.

She was a member of the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board Consultative Council, the Norwich City College Advisory Committee, the Colchester Institute Advisory Panel, the Careers Service Committee, as well as being a governor of Suffolk College.

Mrs Hatfield was awarded the MBE in 1974 for services to the hotel and catering industry. Her funeral was held at St Edmund's Church, Southwold, on Monday, October 11.

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