The wife of a former timber merchant in Chingford has left thousands of pounds to a children's charity, it has been revealed. 

The £60,000 sum was left to Haven House Children's Hospice in High Road, Woodford Green, by Betty Shadbolt after she passed away in February. 

Mrs Shadbolt was married to Lawrie, a third generation owner of FR Shadbolt Ltd which used to be in Shadbolt Avenue, alongside the North Circular Road. 

Every week for 59 years, the company greeted motorists travelling into Waltham Forest along the A406 with their iconic 'Veneer of the Week' advertising sign. 

The couple married in 1956 and lived together in a house they built in Newlands Road, Woodford Green. 

Mr Shadbolt died from a short illness aged 87 in September 2008, leaving his share of the estate to his wife. 

Frederick Robert Shadbolt founded the family firm in London in 1884, producing decorative inlays for the furniture trade. 

The company moved to Chingford in 1947 where Mr Shadbolt, a third generation owner and former pilot for the Royal Air Force, and his family took over the running of the business. 

Mrs Shadbolt was involved in the Women's Royal Air Force during the Second World War and later became a fashion designer in the West End. 

She spent her later years working as a part-time secretary at Shadbolt, before the company moved to Braintree in late 2006.   

Her legacy to Haven House was unveiled this week by her nephew Richard Roberts. 

He said: "Betty left a considerable sum of money to a wide variety of charities, both national and local. 

"She had no specific involvement with Haven House as far as I am aware and did not know anyone who used their service. I think she was just aware of it as such a worthy local cause.

 "Shadbolt was a well-known and successful local company and it seems fitting that it should continue to support the local community."

The hospice will be using the windfall to help to fund services in its new holistic care centre on activities such as therapeutic yoga, music therapy and parent training services. 

Chief executive Mike Palfreman, said: "Legacies like the Shadbolt’s are crucial to the survival of smaller charities such as ours and allow us to plan for the longer-term."