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Tributes paid to community champion Peggy Rouse, of Northfleet

Family and friends have said farewell to a ‘pillar of the Northfleet community’ who died at the age of 97.

Peggy Rouse, a former councillor, magistrate and the driving force behind the construction of the Northfleet Day Centre, passed away at the Hollies Residential Home on Sunday, December 18. Her funeral was held yesterday (Wednesday).

She had moved into the home last summer following the death of her husband, Ted Rouse, who was himself known as Mr Northfleet and was the first leader of Gravesham council.

Peggy and Ted Rouse on their 70th wedding anniversary
Peggy and Ted Rouse on their 70th wedding anniversary

Their son, 54-year-old David, recalled how his parents had a huge impact on the area and spoke of how involved his mother was in the community.

He said: “She was much involved with the community, just as he was. She was part of the effort to get the day centre built at Coldharbour Road. They raised about £300,000 to get that there.

“She was also presented with an award from Age Concern for her efforts in the community.”

Mrs Rouse moved to Northfleet with her family from Bermondsey in south London in 1933, taking up residence in a new house in Hall Road.

She went on to live with her husband in Johnson Close following their marriage in 1941, where she lived from 1961 until June last year. Having struggled to adjust to life on her own since Ted’s death six months prior, she moved into the Hollies.

Mrs Rouse had three children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her granddaughter, Rebecca Chamberlain, said: “Peggy earned her reputation in standing her corner on behalf of the elderly people of Northfleet.

“In recognition of her works for the elderly, in 2005 Peggy was presented with The Pfizer Award for Community Support and Development.

“Outside of her work for the elderly, Peggy spent 12 years as a councillor serving Northfleet and then Gravesham and also served 15 years as a magistrate on the North Aylesford/Gravesend benches.

“For over 20 years Peggy ran the Northfleet Unit of British Red Cross Home Medical team, providing a 24-hour service supplying medical aids for people in their homes.

“She and Ted were also very active in the Labour Party throughout their lives and both very much enjoyed the friendships they made through the town twinning association.”

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