A much-loved “local hero” from Kelvedon was honoured on 24th and 25 June 2017 with a tribute concert in his home village. Greenfields resident, John “Skip” Papworth MBE, 86-years-old, enjoyed a heart-felt show featuring 80 performers from Kelvedon Dance Studio, Kelvedon Players and Feering Singers; as well as the Brownies and Guides to commemorate Skip’s lifelong association with the Scouts from helping to run the troop from 1949. Other achievements include being a Lollipop Man, the Town Crier, a “lucky” Chimney Sweep at many weddings, a photographer and exhibitor of his travels and local life, a local builder for Crowe Builders for 50 years and an odd-job man around the village.
Skip has also been volunteering for Greenfields for around 10 years, including attending events, helping to improve his local community alongside a group of Greenfields residents – including installing more litter bins and tidying up communal areas in blocks of flats – and is currently a Community Voice at his older persons’ scheme, Western House, in Kelvedon.
Susan Oxford, who helped to organise the event, held at Kelvedon Institute, wanted to do something to honour all of Skip’s achievements: “Skip has done so much for his local community. His 25-year role as Lollipop Man ensured his place in the hearts of a generation, and brightening up the corner of St Mary’s road with his sunny smile and friendly chat. He was also involved with Kelvedon, Coggeshall and Witham carnivals; not to mention many years spent at Crowe Builders, the Scouts, and visiting Ely for the Town Criers competition each year. It was lovely to give something back to him.”
The event has helped to raise over £1,200 for the RNIB and MNDA.