Fr Norton H Collard (1923-2017)
Fr Norton Harvey Collard was vicar of St. Anne’s parish from 1970 to 1987.
Although he died in Grantham, he is buried in Gravesend with his parents.
Fr Collard served in the RAF in Egypt during the war when he got involved in shows.
Before going into the priesthood, he was a copywriter in the advertising profession.
He was a pioneer of television advertising. He wrote only the third ever advert for TV, for Country Life butter, and also penned some memorable advertising slogans including ‘Don’t say bread, say Hovis’ and ‘Esso – put a tiger in your tank’. Norton H. Collard was a keen amateur actor and playwright in the 1950s and 60s.
Fr Collard appeared in some TV advertisements himself and was a keen amateur actor, playwright, and director with the Erith Theatre Guild. He had an Equity card and always had a love of film and the theatre.
He married Rosemary at the age of 42 and they had three children, Harvey, Suzanne and Louise.
He went to the Theological College in Rochester, followed by curacies in Swanley and Dartford, before being offered the parish of St Anne’s in Grantham which was to be his one and only living.
In retirement, Fr Collard still served the church, looking after the Harlaxton group of parishes and also St Wulfram’s whenever he was needed. He also helped at St Mary’s in Stamford and was chaplain to the Royal Corps of Transport at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham.
Fr Collard wrote a column called Thoughtful Moment for the Journal from 1985. He never missed a week of writing the column, until he fell ill in 2011 when he suffered a stroke.