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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Roy Hood, founder of the Loose Amenities Association, dies after a lifetime of service

18 December 2013
by Alan Smith

Roy Hood his work lives on

Roy Hood: his work lives on

Tributes have been flooding in after the death of a village stalwart.

For more than half a century the words “Roy Hood” and “Loose” were almost synonymous.

Mr Hood, of Church Street in the village, founded the Loose Amenities Association in 1952, saw it become a registered charity in 1953, and served as its chairman for more than 50 years, until his retirement in 2009.

He became a Loose Parish Councillor in May 1972 and was still a councillor at his death more than 41 years later.

He passed away on Saturday (14) after suffering a heart attack. He was 83.

For decades he was the force behind many of the village’s activities: from the annual duck race, to the village fireworks display, barn dance and Christmas carolling around the tree.

His contribution was very much a hands-on approach and many people knew him as the man who swept up the fallen leaves in the autumn or trudged around every house in the neighbourhood in winter selling the LAA calendars.

He also frequently represented the village at borough council planning meetings, passionately defending Loose against intrusive developments.

Bob Jesshope, land officer for the Loose Swiss Scouts, said: “Roy gave his whole life to the village. He was a man of huge principle. A real character and a great guy. I worked closely with him looking after the woodlands and Loose Stream for decades and his help and guidance was invaluable.

“I’m afraid the village is going to find him irreplaceable.”

Bryn Cornwell, chairman of the Valley Conservation Society, said: “Without Roy, the Loose Valley would not be the gem that it is today. He will be sadly missed.”

Loose Parish Council clerk Jan Capon said: “Roy did everything for the right reasons. Loose was his passion. The village would not be what it is today without him.”

Loose sub-postmaster Brian Clark said: “Roy was a very fair man. He always listened to argument and he was relentless in pursuing what was best for the village. Even today I post out the Loose calendars to addresses all over the world.”

Terry Davis, today’s LAA chairman, said: “Roy’s passion for the village was only surpassed by his considerable wealth of knowledge. It is only since his retirement from LAA that we have come to realise just how much time and effort he invested and how incredibly skilled and knowledgeable he was.

“Generations of residents in Loose have benefited from his considerable efforts.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go to Rita, his loving wife and staunch supporter, and to Rita and Roy’s children and wider family.”

LAA secretary Catherine Kenny said: “Only a few weeks ago, I saw Roy out in the pond scything away at the reeds. It’s the end of an era.”

Mr Hood was born and raised in Loose and worked in forestry. He leaves his wife Rita, four children and eight grandchildren.

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