The Gerrard Chronicles 2008

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The Grim Reaper's Harvest


Margaret & John

All Margaret's children came to the funeral: Liz from Milan (with husband Paolo); Rena from Bangkok & Justin from Tokyo & John's other son Roger came. Ken felt that John's lifetime in the Chemical industry may have had a lot to answer for.

After a ghastly 2008 of suffering, Ken's cousin Margaret's husband John died on August 15th. He had not looked well at Xmas & was soon diagnosed with mesothelioma. The doctors changed their minds & tried chemotherapy on him but to no avail. Ken sent this obituary to "The Freethinker":-
John Dowding 1932 - 2008
John died on August 15th after a terrible battle with cancer. He was a stalwart member of the NSS & also engaged with the wider community. He had been an Independent (very) Councillor in Burnham on Crouch & also the Mayor. An active member of the Ramblers Association, he worked & lobbied to ensure the sanctity of our footpath network. Wherever he lived, he was a 'joiner': one of that backbone of England on tireless little committees building Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land. His son Justin read from Donne & Rossetti & your obituarist read "Fear no more the Heat of the Sun". John never ceased from mental fight & fittingly, was seen off to the Parry/Blake. He is survived by his wife Margaret, sons Roger & Justin & daughter, Fiona with whom, and his step-daughters, our thoughts go.


Ken & his first wife Jane met the Andersons at Oberg├╝rgl in 1974 & kept in touch. Ken skied with them in 1975 & they were incredibly supportive when Jane died in 1980. In 1982, they were moved to Tunisia & contact was lost but in 1985, Ken happened upon Lynn in Cobham & introduced his new wife, Avis. In 1991, they were sent back to their native USA by Lynn's oil company (he was a Geophysicist) but exiled to the Armpit of California, Bakersfield, where we visited them twice & later again in Texas to which they were moved again. They came here a few times. They are almost Ken's longest serving friends, so it was a shock when Lynn was diagnosed with cancer & died on October 3rd, particularly as he is only weeks older than Ken. Our love goes to Ann & their sons, Keith & Neil.

Lynn & Ann on a visit to us in 2005

Lynn exercises Cody

Keith, Lynn & Ann


One of Islington's great characters, an old show-biz hand who worked with the Beatles among others, a one-time Councillor & more recently known for his service as Chair of the Archaeological & Historical Society, Peter has left us at the early age of 74 on February 27th. See this obit for more.


We only got to know Michael in recent years, firstly by his sterling support for Avis' theatre campaign through the Upper Street Association, which he Chaired & then, we became aware of his huge reputation as an educator. He died at only 73 on July 3rd. See this obit for more.

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2008