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TRIBUTE TO JOHN STEPHENSON: Staunch ally when going got tough

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 September 2010

It is with great regret that I and other members of the Mixed Pond Action Group learned of the death of John Stephenson.  He was indefatigable in working to save the Mixed Pond when that swimming pond came under threat from the City of London.  John s g

It is with great regret that I and other members of the Mixed Pond Action Group learned of the death of John Stephenson.

He was indefatigable in working to save the Mixed Pond when that swimming pond came under threat from the City of London. John's great expertise in budgetary matters, his keen intelligence, his inclusiveness and personal kindness will long be remembered. He was highly motivated to preserve every aspect of the Heath for the use and enjoyment of this and future generations. There was the sense that as long as he was participating, no harm would come to these treasured institutions and healthful activities.

Times have changed. The Government recently recognised the importance of swimming in the overall health of the nation and has at last made it a national priority. And we believe the Heath managers have come to appreciate the vitality of the activity, not to mention the uniqueness of the three ponds on the grounds of Hampstead Heath. They are celebrated internationally and greatly enhance the reputation of Hampstead Heath and the City of London throughout the world. But when they came under fire, John was absolutely staunch in their defence. He was there for us all.

I and so many others remain grateful for what he did then.

Sally Taylor

Co-leader, The Mixed Pond Group

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