Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010

My trip to the Isle of Wight on Tuesday night was spoilt by news of the shock death of the lovely Eileen Shepherd. There was a tribute in the programme that read:

Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010

Please join with us this evening in remembering one of our ever-present founder shareholders Eileen Shepherd.

Eileen could bring a ray of sunshine into the Stadium on a cold or dreary Speedway Night. We were all very privileged to have known Eileen and we shall miss her wonderful smile and her equally wonderful Bread Pudding.

Our heartfelt sympathies go to Albert, Kevin and the family.

Albert commented: “We had no flowers – there were 112 cards – but donations to the Children’s ward in St Mary’s [Southampton] where she used to work as a domestic for 11 years until she stopped when she retired at 65. We love flowers but flowers are for the living and not the dead. At least it was quick and she was in no pain. It’s a silent killer – ovarian cancer – I never thought when I kissed her goodbye on the Tuesday night that the next day she’d be gone! Funny a domestic [Doreen] came up and said ‘I know that woman in that bed’ I said ‘go on have a word with her’. It was one of the last words she spoke. She didn’t have an enemy in the world, no one has a bad word. It still hasn’t sunk in!”

From Concrete for Breakfast

Already luxuriating in the likely triumph ahead, Pav [Dave Pavitt] has shifted further along the fourth bend and stands pit side of the perimeter fence that separates the riders and officials from the expectantly baying crowd of Islanders fans that like to watch their speedway from this vantage point. Well, to be more accurate, a small but perfectly formed cluster of Islanders loyalists in the form of Albert and Eileen Shepherd, who respectively sit and stand there every week on either the folding garden chair or the small wooden stool brought along for this purpose. They also come well prepared with a bag tied to the chain links of the fence that is packed with provisions ranging from a good selection of sweets and including the wonderful coffee that, along with the conversation, has once again drawn Pav to their company. “This is the best coffee on the Island – Camp coffee and full cream!” he smirks approvingly – as though we’re suddenly stars of an advert – while he deftly removes the plastic beaker from the top of the Shepherd’s red thermos flask to pour himself another cup. Resplendent in his red-and-black IoW anorak, Albert reminisces, “I’ve been going to speedway since 1951 but she started going before me – it’s 55 years in September [1952] since I started courting Eileen. My father was a bike pusher at pre-war Coventry for Jack Parker and we used to live opposite, so I was always going to be interested.”

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One Response to Eileen Shepherd 20th June 1931 – 14th April 2010

  1. Kev Shepherd
    June 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Jeff,

    Just to say thank you for this tribute it is a fitting tribute to a dearly loved wife, mother and grandmother who is sorely missed by us all.

    Thank you again on behalf of all the family

    Kev

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