Tributes paid to Seven Kings activist who 'always fought injustice'
- Credit: Jacinta Beard
Family and friends have paid tribute to a Seven Kings woman who was “always fighting injustice” after her death.
Born in Kent on October 3, 1955, Pamela Beard spent much of her childhood moving across the UK with her father, who was in the armed forces.
She left school at 16 and later met her first husband, who was from Seven Kings.
The couple moved to Wales, where they eventually divorced, and Pamela moved back to east London, living in Ilford before settling in Seven Kings in 1983.
She would live in the area for the rest of her life, getting involved in community activism and becoming a regular letter writer to the Recorder.
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Her daughter Jacinta Nandi, 41, recalled her involvement in a campaign to save a library in Seven Kings (now Ilford Preparatory School) as well as an instance in which she wrote to the newspaper to complain when staff at a swimming pool told her to stop breastfeeding.
Jacinta, now a Berlin-based writer, said: “She was always fighting injustices like that – little things like Seven Kings library or big things like the Iraq War.”
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Pamela’s health began to decline in the late 2000s and she was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which gradually reduced her mobility.
“As she got sicker, she still really cared about things, but she couldn’t be as active,” said Jacinta.
Valerie, a close friend who cared for Pamela in her later years, said she loved going out to the countryside and was “really a country person at heart”.
She remembered her as a determined woman with a “keen sense of injustice”, who would “much prefer to walk to the shops in the pouring rain than go in the car”.
Valerie, who would prefer to go by her first name, said Pamela “fought the MS until the end” in May and remembered how she would insist on walking around Tesco with her walking stick or frame, even if it took hours.
Pamela is survived by her siblings Barbara, Angela, Jane, Elizabeth and Chris; children Ben, Jacinta and Rosa; and grandchildren Rico and Lewis.