Father's Day 2021: Family remember chewing gum factory worker dad Terry
- Credit: Caroline Wright
A Romford woman will be remembering her "hero" dad this Father's Day.
Terry Sladden, who worked at Harold Hill's A&BC chewing gum factory for many years, passed away in November 2018.
His daughter Caroline Wright described him as "the best dad" to herself and four siblings - Gary, Colin, Barbi and Darren.
She said: "He was honestly the greatest father anyone could have asked for.
"He was so funny and always had time for everyone."
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She remembered him taking her and her siblings on the school run.
"Every so often he would announce we were off to Canvey Island, and we'd grab our penny bags and pile into the people carrier for a day out," Caroline explained.
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Born in Tottenham, Terry moved to Buckinghamshire and married wife Jessie in 1958, before moving to Harold Hill in 1962 to raise their five children.
Terry enjoyed fishing and swimming with his seven grandchildren during the summer - Robyn, Victoria, Connor, Hollie, Sarah-Jane, Finley and Freya, as well as his great-granddaughter Olivia.
Caroline's daughter Sarah-Jane Wright also had fond memories of her granddad.
The 25-year-old said: “I was really close with my grandad; me and him did everything.
“He lit up a room, he doesn’t have to say anything, just his presence.
“He looked after me when I was little, he would take me over to the park, to Romford Market.”
Terry also worked as a builder and helped to construct Gallows Corner Flyover.
"For years afterwards, he would joke that it should have been an underpass - I think we all can agree about that," Caroline added with a laugh.
When Terry became ill, his son took him to hospital, and he passed away the next day.
Caroline added: "It was such a shock, he hadn't gone to the doctor even though he was unwell, and it turned out he had liver disease.
"He said to my brother: 'Make sure you tell your siblings that I’m very proud of them.'"
When his wife Jessie was diagnosed with dementia, Terry became her full-time carer.
"That's why he didn't tell anyone he was ill," Romford-based Caroline explained.
"He just wanted to get on with looking after mum."
The family will light a candle for Terry and Jessie, who passed away in 2019, on Father's Day.