Living memorial to Stotfold councillor

ON Saturday, dozens of bulbs were planted in memory of a Stotfold town councillor who died of cancer in March last year.

Jill Smith, the widow of Cllr Malcolm Smith, and their three sons, Jamie, Mark and Dan, planted the first of a drift of 300 bluebells on the edge of Johnstan Copse in Stotfold Watermill Nature Reserve.

They were joined by Stotfold mayor Brian Collier, deputy mayor Alan Cooper, and councillors Mary Cooper and Larry Stoter, who all assisted with the planting.

The bulbs were donated by Stotfold Town Council to acknowledge the contribution Cllr Smith made to the town.

Following a career in the Royal Air Force, Cllr Smith and his family settled in Stotfold in 1983 and he took up a post with British Aerospace.

He became interested in working for the town as a councillor from the time the family moved to Stotfold, and he also served as a district councillor for a number of years.

Despite illness and significant pain towards the last years of his life, he regularly attended council meetings. Mrs Smith said: “He had a lot to cope with, including a very complex drug regime to deal with the pain, but he never gave in.”

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Cllr Collier said: “The council felt this would be a splendid tribute to a man who gave many years of dedicated public service, both as a town councillor and a member of Mid Beds District Council.”

The Astwick and Stotfold Environmental Link (TEASEL), the conservation group which manages the nature reserve, will plant the remainder of the bulbs and monitor their progress to flowering later in the year.

Mrs Smith said: “The family are delighted by this donation of what will be a blue carpet of colour and scent for all visitors to enjoy, and a living memorial to Malcolm.”

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