The sister of a beloved local character has paid tribute to the woman who enjoyed “people watching” from a bench in her hometown. 

Myra Raper, 78, of Moorgate Road, Dereham, lived her entire life in the mid-Norfolk market town. 

The ninth of 11 children to Harry and Elsie Raper, she was born on April 23, 1945, in Toftwood. 

An inquest in her death took place at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, based at County Hall in Norwich, on March 6. 

Area coroner Samantha Goward heard evidence which revealed that Miss Raper had been found by a carer on the floor in the hallway of her home on the morning of September 5, 2023. 

She was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital by ambulance but deteriorated and died a few days later on September 11. 

Her sister, Gloria Warner, provided a family statement to the court, where she paid tribute to her “beloved” sister. 

She wrote: “Family life was hard at times, but all the children were brought up in an extremely happy and very loving household with cats and dogs which Myra loved. 

“Myra went to Toftwood Junior School. It was here they discovered she had limited learning, but this disability never hindered her. 

“She was a very independent person, always cheerful and happy to see you but would also be very strong headed. 

“Myra’s hobbies were knitting, word searches, embroidery and jigsaw puzzles. She also loved music and meeting her friends for coffee and toast in Dereham

“Myra was very house-proud. She loved her flat, which she always kept very neat, clean and tidy, along with her own appearance. 

“Myra went to St Nicholas House in Dereham as a volunteer worker for many years until Covid in 2020. 

“Myra was always fit, walking into Dereham at least four times a week doing her shopping, window gazing, or sitting on a bench people-watching. 

“Myra lived all her life in Dereham where she was well-known and liked. Myra was, and still is, very much loved and missed by her family.” 

Ms Goward recorded brief narrative conclusion. 

She said: “Myra Raper died due to underlying natural causes contributed to by the consequence of a fall, the cause of which is unknown, and a long lie before being found.”