A “fashionable” and “hard-working” Havering woman has died aged 101

Tribute has been paid to a “fashionable” and “hard-working” Havering woman who died at the age of 101.

Jane Coombs, known as Jean, died at The Oaks Residential Home, in Upminster, earlier this month.

She had been a bar maid in local pubs, before opening a well-known hardware store with her husband in Romford.

Mrs Coombs was born in Canning Town in 1911 and worked in a milliners from the age of 14,

She met her first husband George Hart when she was 16; they got married when she was 28, and had one daughter Carol.


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During the Second World War they moved to Lincoln, where he died after he was hit by a bomb in 1944.

After returning to London to bring up her daughter alone she started work at Cable and Wireless, where she met her second husband Joseph Coombs.

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Mrs Coombs had a number of jobs when they moved to Hornchurch in 1952 including working in catering at Speedway in West Ham, and as a bar maid at The Good Intent pub, in Roneo Corner; before her and her husband opened a shop J. Coombs Hardware and Domestic Store, in Dagnam Road, in 1960 which they ran for 10 years.

Mrs Wood added: “My mum was hard-working throughout her life. She was a wonderful mum to me and really enjoyed life.

“She was very fashionable, and liked to wear hotpants, even when she was in her 70s. She would often make her own clothes and make trousers or hotpants.”

She added: “She went into a residential home in 2003 after my stepdad died because she was so upset over losing him. We think she died after she decided that she had enough.”

She celebrated her 100th birthday at The Oaks Residential Home surrounded by friends and family last year.

Her funeral was held at South Essex Crematorium on September 2, with a wake at the Huntsman and Hound, in Upminster.

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