‘Wonderful’ chairwoman of Friends of Upminster Park dies age 76

Original members of the Friends of Upminster Park. Treasurer Keith Webb, chairwoman Janet Davies, se

Original members of the Friends of Upminster Park. Treasurer Keith Webb, chairwoman Janet Davies, secretary Pat Flavell and her husband and volunteer Brian Flavell. - Credit: Archant

The chairwoman of Friends of Upminster Park has been described as “lovely” and “community spirited” following her death.

Janet Davies, one of the founding members of the environmental group, died last Tuesday at the age of 76 after an eight-year battle with skin cancer.

Earlier this year, she was also diagnosed with a brain tumour but showed both “courage and strength” throughout her illness.

Janet’s daughter Claire Bottone, 46, from Hornchurch, said: “Everyone that I have spoken to have talked about what a wonderful woman she was.

“She was like the lady of Upminster because everyone knew her.

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“She dedicated so much time to the park, because she wanted to make it the best it could possibly be and was so happy when she would see people using it.”

The Friends of the Upminster Park group started up about 10 years ago and with Janet’s help, the park achieved Green Flag status in 2009.

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From planting flowers to installing table tennis tables and benches, Janet played a key role in transforming the park into a community environment.

She also helped to organise the park’s annual summer fun day where this year there were fun fair rides, a bouncy castle, face painting and donkey rides.

Claire added: “Even before she became involved with the group, she would walk through the park everyday and she was the sort of person to pick up litter even though it wasn’t her responsibility to.

“She was lovely and very community spirited and from all of the messages we’ve received, people did think very highly of her.”

The family is asking for people to make a donation to Cancer Research UK in memory of Janet.

The funeral is being held at South Essex Crematorium Chapel, Ockendon Road, Upminster, at 11.20am on December 16.

To make a donation visit http://bit.ly/2gedvNo

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