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Tributes have been paid to the well-known founder of Havering Music Makers who died last week.

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Maurice Williams set up the amateur drama group in 1976 from the old Romford and District Operatic and Dramatic Society.

Chairman of the group, Nick Ford, said: “Maurice will be sorely missed by the Society and he will leave a hole that can never be filled.

“Anyone who has enjoyed a performance with HMM – whether on stage, in the audience or backstage – should be thankful to Maurice and Eileen (his late wife) for their undeniable dedication and passion, which has ensured that amateur musical theatre can still give joy to the people of Havering.”

Brentwood Theatre administrator Mark Reed said: “It is with great sadness that we have received the news.

“I had known Maurice since about 1989 when I joined Havering Music Makers and first entered non-professional theatre a couple of years after leaving school.

“Maurice was a driving force (behind Havering Music Makers), respected by many in Havering and beyond, in putting on great shows, but also making sure that they were fun to be a part of.”

His funeral will be on Monday at Bentley St Paul’s Church, in Coxtie Green, Brentwood, from 1.15pm, followed by Bentley Crematorium at 2pm, and The Eagle Pub, in Kelvedon Hatch.

The family have requested donations to Diabetes UK and St Francis Hospice. Any donations should be made payable to the charities and can be sent to the funeral directors Frank Rivett & Sons, 24 The Broadway, Elm Park, RM12 4RW.

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