A POPULAR former councillor and caring mother and grandmother has died at the age of 86.
Gwen Barnes, an active Labour party politician, will be best remembered for her passion for education and housing; being a dedicated school governor and her commitment to getting people housed.
Mrs Barnes, who lived in Woburn in West Ealing, served four terms at Ealing Council from 1971-1986 and was appointed Honorary Alderman of the borough.
The 'old-school and no-nonsense councillor' - as she was known amongst colleagues - was the representative of the Elthorne Ward and was responsible for driving forward the multi-games and sports area at Elthorne High School.
During her later life when she stepped down from the council and retired from teaching, Gwen joined The University of the Third Age, was president of a ramblers' association and became an avid cricket supporter, before becoming a member of the Middlesex County and Surrey Cricket Clubs.
Born in Kensington on September 10, 1922, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish immigrant family from Eastern Europe, Gwen studied at Notting Hill High School before continuing her education at Cambridge during the Second World War.
It is during her studies in history she met her future husband, Robert, and the couple moved to Elers Road in Ealing after their wedding in the late 1940s.
Their son, David, was born in 1953 and Susan was born two years later, before Gwen became a teacher at Wilberforce Primary School in Westminster.
During the 1950s, Gwen became involved in politics and her commitment continued, despite the tragic death of her husband in 1968 and daughter in 1983.
The family moved to the Cleveland Estate and Gwen served four terms at Ealing Council before stepping down in 1986.
Her son, David, said she was an 'absolutely lovely' mother and grandmother.
Mr Barnes said: "We all thought the world of her and she was always very supportive of her grandchildren.
"She took my daughter to her piano lessons and bought my son his first drum kit - they both now work in music and she just believed in them.
"If mum didn't want to do something then she would tell you, she was a very straightforward person. We will all miss her and are astonished at the number of people who knew her."
The funeral took place on April 29 at Mortlake Crematorium and a memorial service was held at the Princess Room at Ealing Town Hall.
Gwen Barnes is survived by her son, David, and his wife, Lesley, grandchildren Rosie, Peter, Tom and Elaine and greatgrandson Zachary.