A former school’s head groundsman died unexpectedly after a fall following a family day out.

John Timson, of Manor Way, died peacefully on April 30 at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington with his family at his bedside.

The 84 year-old was born in Islington but moved to Borehamwood in 1936, where he later became the head groundsman of Hillside Upper School until 1995.

Keith Newson, headmaster at Hillside Upper School from 1970 to 1987, said: “John had spent virtually all his life, until retirement, both as a pupil (during the Second World War) and as the chief groundsman and gardener, cherishing the beautiful grounds of Hillside.

"John was such a lovely man, such a significant figure in the story of the cchool and of all the pupils and colleagues on the staff that he knew so well. We shall all cherish our memories of him and his part that both he and his wife Jean played in the community that was Hillside School. John had much to be proud of. We shall remember him.”

Mr Timson was very active in local politics as a founder member of the local Liberal party and a prospective councillor.

As a boy he sang as a treble in the choir of All Saints Church, where he was married, and ran the Red Lion Loan Club with his father Cecil, and was also district churchwarden at the Holy Cross Church.

His funeral was held at Holy Cross Church, attended by family and friends and presided over by the Reverend Nicholas Elder and the Reverend Christine Hina.

He leaves his wife Jean, children Carol and David, and four grandchildren.