03/09/08 - Mrs Bridget Cracroft-Eley

The Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Bridget Cracroft-Eley, who lives at Hackthorn Hall, died last Friday, two months before her 75th birthday.

Mrs Bridget Cracroft-Eley, had been the Queen's representative in Lincolnshire since April 1995 although her duties had been reduced during her illness with a brain tumour over the last year and Tony Worth was appointed in the summer to succeed her in the autumn at the time of her official retirement on her birthday.

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee led tributes to her dedicated service.

"Bridget Cracroft-Eley will be remembered as a champion for Lincolnshire who wished for nothing more than to see the people of Lincolnshire flourish and realise their full potential. "She especially encouraged young people to enjoy life to the full.

"Above all, Bridget was a person of immense charm, grace and good humour. She took her duties as Lord-Lieutenant very seriously, yet she conducted her official engagements with a light touch which endeared her to everyone who met her.

"She will be greatly missed by the very many charities and voluntary organisations she supported with her patronage and encouragement, including the cathedral and her local church.

"Bridget will be remembered as a committed and courageous ambassador for this county which she and her family have loved and served so well."

As Lord Lieutenant she was an un-paid representative with the foremost duty of upholding the dignity of the Crown and promoting a spirit of co-operation by supporting voluntary and benevolent organisations.

In the New Year's Honours List she was bestowed with the Royal Victorian Order, a personal gift from the Queen for her services to the Monarch ina personal capacity.

She had been involved in scores of Royal visits, escoring Royal visitors, presenting medals and awards on behalf of the Sovereign and advising on Honours nominations, and taking part in civic, voluntary and social activities.

Also as one of a long-line associated with Hackthorn Hall, she was a great support to her local community in Hackthorn, where son William and daughter-in-law maggie continue to run the family estate.

There will be a private family funeral followed by a service of thanksgiving in Lincoln Cathedral at a later date.

Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: "Lincolnshire has been fortunate to have benefitted greatly from Mrs Cracroft-Eley's role as Lord-Lieutenant, in which she was an excellent ambassador for our county.

"She will be remembered for her commitment and devotion to Lincolnshire."