‘One of life’s gentlemen’ - former St Albans council chief executive passes

Reg at his grandson's wedding in April last year

Reg at his grandson's wedding in April last year - Credit: Archant

Groundbreaking former St Albans council chief executive, Reg Braddon, has died at the age of 89.

Reg came to St Albans in March 1976 after a 25-year career in the electrical industry at board level with GEC Cables and Equipment Limited and other group companies both in the UK and overseas.

He was an Oxford law graduate who read for the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn.

So unusual was it for the appointment of a local government outsider into the role of a council chief executive that he was interviewed about his post on the Jimmy Young radio programme.

He beat off huge competition for the job and remained in the role until May 1989. During his time in St Albans, he was a leading light of St Albans Rotary Club and was the recipient of a prestigious Paul Harris Award.

Reg was held in high regard by councillors of all parties and former Tory leader of St Albans council, Agnes Hill, this week described him as “one of life’s gentlemen.”

She recalled how he led the council through difficult times including the development of a large piece of land off Chequer Street which is now the Maltings shopping centre.

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Agnes added: “Wilthout his very wise counsel and advice, I would have found being leader of the council much more difficult.”

After retiring as chief executive, Reg moved to Melling, a small village in the Lune Valley in Lancashire, with his late wife Ruth to whom he was married for 60 years. The couple had two sons, Adrian and Christopher.

In later years he remained active in Rotary and the local church as well as caring for Ruth for the two or three years before her death.

Reg died in a nursing home in Carnforth on January 29, and the funeral will be held at St Wilfrid’s in Melling.