A much-loved community campaigner and founding member of the influential Wanstead Society has died at the age of 90.

Jack Figg, of Grove Park, Wanstead, husband of fellow long-term society member, Billie, had been suffering from ill-health for some time.

In a statement the Wanstead Society said: “They both loved Wanstead and were concerned about how it developed and were prepared to put in time and effort to preserve the best and to promote the place which had been their home for many years.

“Jack was a well recognised figure in the High Street on his daily shopping round, meeting and talking to locals.

“He was such a pleasure to talk to with a lovely sense of humour. A conversation with Jack always left one smiling. Those of us who knew him will count ourselves lucky.

“Our thoughts are with Billie.”

Fellow society member, Geoff Horsnell, of Gloucester Road, Wanstead, said his friend was always willing to help.

He added: “He was a very important member of the society, as is his wife.

“Jack was a very kindly natured man, he was always very cheerful and had a quip for everything.”

Mr Figg was born in Dagenham in 1924 and left school at 14 to work in a cigar shop in Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly.

After several jobs, he later became managing director of Norwegian Paper Mills.
After joining the war effort, he became a policeman for a short time.

He retired in 1989 and joined his wife Billie in her enthusiasm for painting.

The couple became very involved in Wanstead life and helped found the Wanstead Society to protect the site known as Evergreen Field from development.

The society continues to campaign to preserve Wanstead’s distinct character.