Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Memorial bench to Green Gym stalwart

A BENCH in memory of the first chairman of Sonning Common Green Gym is to be installed at Greys Court.

A BENCH in memory of the first chairman of Sonning Common Green Gym is to be installed at Greys Court.

Jules Thomson, who died earlier this year, chaired the volunteer group from 1999 to 2011 and his leadership in the early days of self- management is said to be one of the reason it continues to thrive.

Green Gyms help people keep fit and healthy by organising practical nature conservation tasks at a variety of local sites and Greys Court has been one of the Sonning Common group’s key sites since it began.

Mr Thomson acted as co-ordinator with the gardeners who look after the grounds of the National Trust property.

Head gardener Rachel Edwards said: “We enjoyed working with Jules to arrange a great many work sessions over the years, from laurel clearance in the bluebell woods to hay-raking in the maze, removing fallen branches from a pond and building guards round fruit saplings for a new orchard.”

Mr Thomson was also very active in the community after retiring from the RAF.

He spent 12 years as a member of South Oxfordshire District Council and was chairman in 2004/5.

He also belonged to the Nettlebed and District Commons Conservators and was honorary treasurer of Amateur Satellite UK.

The memorial oak bench has been made by Sam Hunt, of the Country Workshop at Aston Hill, near Lewknor.

A short inauguration will take place at Greys Court on August 22 attended by members of Mr Thomson’s family and Dr William Bird, who devised the Green Gym concept when in practice at Sonning Common Health Centre.

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