Tireless’ worker dies

PUBLISHED: 11:59 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

Chris Woods: “A great servant to Buntingford.”

Chris Woods: “A great servant to Buntingford.”

A MAN who spent his life working tirelessly for Buntingford has died at the age of 88. Chris Woods died on Saturday following a short illness. Mr Woods, the husband of former Buntingford mayor Eunice Woods, was born and bred in Buntingford. He was the s

A MAN who spent his life working "tirelessly" for Buntingford has died at the age of 88.

Chris Woods died on Saturday following a short illness.

Mr Woods, the husband of former Buntingford mayor Eunice Woods, was born and bred in Buntingford. He was the son of a baker and delivered bread around the town.

When he left the Royal Air Force at the end of the Second World War he became a Scout master and organised several ambitious camps, including one in Guernsey in 1951.

He worked as an insurance broker for Prudential Insurance and continued to be heavily involved with the community.

He was a trustee of two charities - the Bishop of Seth Ward Almhouse and Buntingford Relief in Need; he was involved with the parochial church council at St Peter's Church in Buntingford and was a member of the Friends of Layston Church, a building which he was passionate about and one he helped restore.

He was also a town councillor for many years and he signed the twinning agreement with Buntingford's twin town Luynes in France.

He also helped set up the Citizens Advice Bureau in Buntingford and became its president. He was involved with the naming of the Snellsmead housing estate.

Mr Woods leaves behind his two sisters Joyce and Molly and his wife, Councillor Eunice Woods, who he married 26 years ago at St Mary's, Aspenden on June 5, 1980.

Chris knew Eunice's parents when she was just a baby. They were both members of the local tennis club which he became secretary and chairman of for a period.

Mrs Woods said one of his "great loves" was South Africa which was where he was based for five years when he was in the RAF, but she said he never failed to "stand up for his town"'.

"He was a very good man and a gentleman," she said.

"He was always so meticulous. If he had still been around he would be going to Buntingford's town council meeting tonight."

Val Hume, editor of the Buntingford Journal, knew Mr Woods through the charity work he did.

She said: "The thing I will always remember about Chris was his lovely sense of humour and the fact that he was always smartly dressed.

"He also had a vast knowledge of old Buntingford.

"Last year I did a piece on him for the Journal about his days as a baker boy. It was nice to listen to his stories because if people don't get down their memories they are just lost."

Town mayor Jean Cook said Chris's passing was a great loss to Buntingford.

"He was a great servant of Buntingford and worked tirelessly for the town," she said.

"Buntingford has lost a great servant and the people of Buntingford have lost a great friend. He will be sorely missed."

Deputy town clerk Eddie Plume first met Chris when he moved to Buntingford in 1970.

"He was my insurance broker," he said. "I got to know him on the town council for the duration I served during his terms of office.

"Chris was a fountain of knowledge. Buntingford went through him like a stick of rock."

- A funeral service will take place at St Peter's Church on Wednesday (April 4) at 1.15pm. It will be followed by a cremation at Harwood Crematorium, Stevenage for the family only.

No flowers have been requested.

There will be a gathering in Benson Hall after the service.

Donations received in memory of Mr Woods will be donated to Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust for cancer research.

They can be sent to Charity Section, Box 100, Hills Road, Cambridge.

A life of service

1918: Born in Buntingford in December.

1939-1944: Served with the RAF.

1946-1952: Scout master in Buntingford.

1949: Elected to Buntingford Parish Council.

1964: Elected to Buntingford Parish Council for second time.

1973: As a councillor he saw the change from parish to town council.

1976: Became chairman of the town council.

1978: He retired from Prudential Insurance and became a trustee of the Seth Ward Almhouse charity.

1983: He became chairman of the council in May to April 1984.

1986: He became chairman of the Seth Ward Almhouse charity.

1987: He became a trustee of the Buntingford Relief In Need charity.

1991: Became chairman of the Buntingford Relief In Need charity and stood down from the town council.

2000: Received a community award from East Herts District Council.


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