Tributes paid to inspirational stalwart who made 'fantastic contribution' to Twyford community

Tributes have been paid to an energetic, enthusiastic and determined stalwart who made a ‘fantastic contribution’ to the Twyford community.

David Turner passed away on Sunday, June 27 following a long illness at the age of 73.

Born in September 1947, David moved to Ruscombe at the age of six.

After leaving The Piggott School in Wargrave aged 14, David took on an apprenticeship to become a plumber at Waldon’s in Henley and later worked in Hurst running plumbing company Turners.

David met his future wife Lynda at Woodley Youth Club in 1968 and was married at Ruscombe Church in 1971.

They had four children – Colin, Anthony, Elaine and Julie, and 12 grandchildren.

David spent lots of time helping the community and was a trustee at Twyford Youth Centre, a Commodore at Reading Offshore Sailing Club, and spent 27 years as a trustee of The Polehampton Charity until his passing.

Lynda has been a cub leader within 1st Twyford Scouts for more than 30 years and during his life David was a regular helper at events including the Twyford Donkey Derby.

In 1969, David, along with his friend David Sutch, broke the Guinness World Record for non-stop see-sawing, completing 80 hours and bouncing 57,810 times, raising money for Barnardos.

Discussing the see-saw event, Cllr Stephen Conway (Lib Dem, Twyford) who explained that it was one of his favourite memories with David, said: “It was a great event another typical of him.

“That see-saw event, in many ways, captured the essence of of what the community wanted. They wanted to be able to show their support for this project.”

Passionate about bringing a new community library to Twyford, David, who suggested using the Old Polehampton Boys’ School site where he was a former pupil, recreated his see-saw world record attempt in April 2019 to fundraise and raise the profile of the project.

Paying tribute, his daughter Julie said: “As a family we are all extremely proud of all his achievements and the legacy he leaves within the community.

“He would do anything to help others. A fantastic husband, father and grandad, the foundation of our family, He will be greatly missed by all of us.”

Andrew Cardy, chair of The Polehampton Charity, said: “Dave was a truly marvellous friend to so many people.

“Dave always had a smile and made time for everyone. He was extremely practical, always thinking outside of the box.

“Dave’s enormous enthusiasm for utilising the old boys school into a new library and his ability to galvanise so many people to support this scheme has been inspirational.”

Kathy Peck, manager at Twyford Youth Centre, said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with Dave.

“I have learnt so much from him. He was an excellent people-person and he knew how to get the best from people.

“He truly is an inspiration and has shown how much one person can achieve when they put their mind to it.”

Cllr Stephen Conway added: “Dave has been a stalwart of the local community for many, many years. He's very much a Twyford person.

“He’s had a finger in many pies, and he’s been involved in lots and lots of local activities, and he’s ‘done an awful lot for the local community over a long period of time. He’ll be very, very sorely missed.”

“Dave played a key role in actually realising the [library] project and making it actually happen. So I owe him an enormous debt of thanks.”

He added: “I think [the community will] miss his enormous contribution, his energy, his enthusiasm, his determination, all of those things, which I think were his hallmarks.”

Cllr Conway added that he is hopes it will be possible to pay tribute to David in the new library by naming a room or part of the library after him. He has raised the idea with council officers.

Remembering David, Cllr Lindsay Ferris (Lib Dem, Twyford), said: I first got to know Dave Turner when we both became trustees of the Twyford Youth Centre.

“He was one of those few people whose community spirit will be remembered for many years to come.”

Cllr Roy Mantel, chairman of Twyford Parish Council, said: “The members and staff of Twyford Parish Council were saddened to learn of the death of Dave Turner.

“He was a true Twyfordian and played a part in many village organisations.

“One meets rarely a person of this calibre and he will be missed by all.

“The Parish Council sends their condolences to his family and many friends.”

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