VILLAGE communities are in mourning after Ann Sobey, the stalwart of local residents' associations, passed away today (Thursday).
Mrs Sobey, who was 86, was secretary of Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents' Association (HASRA) for nearly 50 years while her husband Bryan, held the role of president.
She proved herself to be a strong-willed and dedicated champion for the Heathrow villages and was a vital part of the battle to prevent expansion of Heathrow Airport.
David Brough, former head of democratic services on Hillingdon Council, paid the following tribute on hearing the news: "I have known Ann personally for almost 40 years when as a junior committee clerk I used to deal with her correspondence to the Council.
"She was Secretary of the Residents' Association for almost 50 years and I always admired her tenacity in fighting for the interests of local people along with her husband Bryan.
"Nothing was ever too much trouble for her to pursue whether it was litter in the villages, parking on grass verges, confronting the all powerful interests at Heathrow or challenging the Government over its airport policies. You rarely meet somebody with such a combination of spirit and civic pride."
Councillor Paul Buttivant (Con) who represents the Heathrow Villages, was also in shock and said: "It is tragic news. I send my deepest condolences to Bryan and all her family.
"She was a true lady in every sense and her contribution to local community will never be forgotten."
She passed away in Hillingdon Hospital.