Former mayor dies

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 December 2010

Astra Brand

Astra Brand

Archant

A FORMER mayor of Weston and keen charity fund-raiser has died.

Astra Brand

Astra Brand was well-known in the Worle community since she moved to the village 17 years ago.

A former town and district councillor, she had more recently suffered heart and kidney problems, which led to her death on Monday at the age of 65.

Her husband of 25 years, Arthur Brand, said: “Astra became involved in politics because she wanted to do something for the town.

“She raised £3,500 every year for Children’s Hospice South West at the annual Weston College dinner.

“She was full of joy, fun and energy.”

Astra was born in Hull and moved to Nailsea with her first husband Michael Preston.

It was there she met Arthur after she and Mr Preston had separated and the couple married in 1985, before moving to Southampton with Arthur’s work.

In 1993, the couple moved to Worle for retirement and Mrs Brand became involved in community work alongside her political roles.

She helped start the district’s scarecrow festival, which has grown in popularity over the past couple of years.

As a Weston Arts Festival committee member, she also used to help organise the annual event when it was staged in town until this year.

Astra, also a member of the fire authority and youth offending team, became town mayor in 2004.

Arthur added: “She had a wonderful time as mayor, meeting everyone.”

In 1996 Astra became ill with heart problems, having a triple bypass that year and then having to use dialysis for kidney problems from 2007.

She leaves behind a daughter, 36-year-old Emma and granddaughters, 14-year-old Jessica and Katie, aged seven.

Funeral details are yet to be finalised.

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