Memorial arbour unveiled to much loved councillor

A memorial arbour to much loved Derbyshire Dales councillor Joyce Pawley has been unveiled in Matlock Bath's picturesque Derwent Gardens.

Joyce, who died earlier this year, weeks after undergoing a high-risk operation to stop pre-cancerous cells turning cancerous, represented Masson ward, including the parishes of Bonsall, Cromford and Matlock Bath.

Before last Saturday's Matlock Bath Illuminations - an event she enthusiastically supported - the arbour was unveiled by Joyce's husband Chris in a simple ceremony also attended by family and friends, Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Garry Purdy, fellow district councillors and Matlock Bath Parish Council Chairman Councillor Peter Baranek.

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The arbour was installed as a collaborative project between the parish and district councils after Matlock Bath residents raised £1,500 towards a memorial.

Councillor Baranek said:
"After discussing the possibilities with Joyce’s family and the District Council it was agreed that the most appropriate memorial would be an arbour in her favourite place in Matlock Bath – the Water Garden."
At the unveiling Joyce’s husband Chris said:
"To say I'm proud of this is an understatement. Joyce would have loved it - the location was one of her favourite spots, this corner of the Gardens. It's such a fitting memorial to her - a place where people can come and sit and meditate and put the world to rights.
"I am so grateful to everyone - the district and parish councils and the people of Matlock Bath who have contributed and helped in this project. It shows the respect and affection they had for Joyce and I am very grateful."
At Saturday's Illuminations several District Council colleagues organised a tombola and collections for Macmillan Cancer Support in Joyce's honour. Councillors Helen Froggatt, Clare Gamble, Dermot Murphy, Steve Wain and Mark Wakeman together raised £1,036 for the charity.
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Joyce spoke on national television at the end of January this year about her operation initially having to be postponed at the last moment - as she waited to be taken down to theatre - due to pressure on bed space caused by Covid.

Before the operation finally took place four days later, she issued a personal plea to everyone to be more Covid aware and support the NHS and the doctors and nurses who are working so hard to contain the virus.

Coming into public life very late, at the age of 72, she revelled in her work as a councillor describing it as the highlights of her life, serving on the District Council's Community & Environment, Planning, Licensing & Appeals and Ernest Bailey Charity Committees. She had also been a creative Member Representative of the Communications & Marketing Hub.

When complete, the arbour area will be landscaped with some of Joyce’s favourite plants and the arbour will contain an inscription of a poem written by Joyce entitled ‘A Place of Escape – Meditation’.
A new memorial arbour to much loved Derbyshire Dales councillor Joyce Pawley has been unveiled in Matlock Bath

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