‘She did so much for the community’ – Daughter of Stevenage dinner lady and Hyde Out supporter pays tribute

Delia Crumplin

Delia Crumplin - Credit: Archant

A community minded lady who left a ‘big footprint’ on Stevenage has passed away at the age of 82.

Delia Crumplin – known to many as Dee – died after a short battle with cancer at Pitt Court, the sheltered housing scheme where she had lived for the past two years.

As well as being a full-time mother and grandmother, she helped set up the Hyde Out in Hydean Way as a community drop-in centre and was a popular dinner lady at Barnwell School.

Her daughter Kerrie Miles, who was brought up in Stevenage, said her mum’s tough London childhood made her always willing to take time to help and support other people in times of difficulty.

“She did so much for the community throughout her life,” she said.

“She would always help if someone needed help. If she saw someone in the street she would always say hello because she said she might be the only person they met all day.

“She spent years trying to get funding for the Hyde Out.

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“Eventually they did and she used to help run it for many years.”

Although it has undergone many changes, the Hyde Out is still serving the community – now as a base for deaf children’s charity, The Phoenix Group for Deaf Children.

As well as raising four children, Delia worked at MacFisheries, a supermarket in the town centre, and at Barnwell School for about five years as a dinner lady.

People who remember Dee took to Facebook to pay tribute to her. Fiona Baker posted: “She was one of the nicest ladies ever.”

Kerrie added: “She definitely left her footprint on Stevenage. She got things done. I think she felt nothing would change unless you changed it yourself.”

As a child Delia was taken into care at a Barnardo’s home in London, but she met her husband John Crumplin who worked at British Aerospace and the couple moved to Stevenage in the early 1970s. Kerrie was born soon after.

The family lived at Barnwell for many years. John died in 1993 and Delia focused more on her many grandchildren and her dogs which she was well known for walking in the park even in recent times.

Delia’s funeral took place on Monday at Harwood Park and was attended by 50 people.

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