Tributes have been paid to Fred Howard, an extremely well known figure in and around Ickenham, after he died aged 82 on 25 February.
He was a great-grandfather of two, grandfather of four and father of two – Claire and Paul.
Mr Howard, who lived in Ickenham for 51 years with Anne, his wife, was at the heart of a community and a “very affable” figure, his former police colleague told Hillingdon is Here.
He has been described as Ickenham's own Dixon of Dock Green – a reference to the long running television show about a policeman which ran from the 1950s to 1970s.
His daughter Claire Agius, who has lived in Ickenham for 25 years, said: “My father was very much a family man enjoying many happy memories with his family. He was one in a million.
“He never put off till tomorrow things he could do today and he was always helping people.
“As a lot of people have commented 'a piece of Ickenham has gone from our lives, a part of our history'.
“He started the neighbourhood watch scheme in Ruislip, Ickenham and surrounding areas. This is still running very successfully.”
Mr Howard was also known for his involvement playing football, including for the the police team, and coached youngsters in the area.
Ickenham resident Graham Allmark, a former police colleague and fellow retired Police Constable, said: “His job was about being out and about in Ickenham and he was well known in the village. He was kind of a Dixon of Ickenham if you like. He was the old time copper.
“He was a very sociable person, he would stop and chat with anybody and everybody.
“He was very friendly, very affable and very sociable everyone liked him I never heard anybody say they didn't like him he was everybody's friend.”
Mr Howard worked alongside him as a radio operator in the car for a spell although he was predominantly a home beat officer.
Mr Allmark said it would be a fair description to call him a 'legendary' figure of Ickenham and also recalled that he was skilled as a joiner/carpenter and once helped to fix his kitchen.
He was a regular at a retired police officers' luncheon club and annual reunion.
Many school children from Glebe Primary will remember Mr Howard for his regular visits coming in to talk to youngsters up until retiring in the late 1980s.
Chair of Glebe Governors, John Buckingham, used to play in the same football team many years ago.
He said: “Fred was a very friendly face who used to talk to the children on general issues of safety, always with stories to relate and tales to tell.”
Mr Buckingham also recalled he had lately been an active member on the Ickenham Festival Committee.
The funeral will take place on Thursday 17 March at midday at St Giles Church followed by a short committal at Breakspear Crematorium and a wake at Uxbridge Golf club.
The family have requested family flowers only and donations to Michael Sobell hospice, care of W. Sherry and Sons Ickenham.
Since the article was published further tributes have come in to Hillingdon is Here.
Josh May, formerly of Swakeleys Road, Ickenham and Breakspear School, emailed to say:
“Fred was such a jolly policeman, a real asset to the force.
“He always remembered my name (not sure in hindsight that was a good thing!).
“He will be missed, but definitely one of those celebrate a life occasions.”
Gavin Pryce, 46, emailed to say he remembered Mr Howard from the age of 4 and recalled when he visited his house in Bushey Road, Ickenham.
He said: “Fred I have some great memories of you in Ickenham God bless. Thanks to you Fred, when at Breakspear school we won the Met police five a side football.
“My early days of being with Mr Howard was at 2rd Ickenham Cubs you inspired all the Cubs to be good at sport. You always gave your time up for us kids in Ickenham.
“You came to see my mum Patricia Pryce - she was having a photo shoot with Mary Peters as they were both Olympic athletes. I think the Daily Mirror came and you where outside the house so nobody could actually intervene.”
He also recalled a father and sons camp with the cubs which Mr Howard attended.
Very sorry to hear that Fred Howard has passed away. Part of my childhood and a man who grew my trust in the police https://t.co/ilmwTjpptN— Nicola Sharp-Jeffs (@nicolajanesharp) 8 March 2016
— Printing Boutique (@PoloPrinting) 11 March 2016