In Remembrance

 

BRUCE ARTHUR WOOD

Woody (Bruce Arthur Wood) died at home in Biddulph Street on Monday 15th June 2020 after a short illness. His daughter Hertha was with him.

Woody has been a huge influence on our area for many years. He became involved with South Highfields Neighbours in 1992 – then called HART (Highfields Association of Residents and Tenants) and worked tirelessly in the community until very recently, always positive, always looking to involve more people. He was part of the People’s Centre on Evington Road, the help desk at Sparkenhoe School and Stoneygate Youth Club. He arranged lots of trips and touched so many hearts. He was much loved and will be sorely missed.

 

17 thoughts on “In Remembrance

  1. Woody was always so positive and enthusiastic. He would join in with any activities going on. He had problems with his legs but that didn’t stop him from helping out at Street parties and events in the park.

    He was so imaginative and had big ideas. He even wanted South Highfields Neighbours to put on a pantomime one Christmas with about 2 weeks notice. – Thank goodness, we couldn’t get it together!

    Woody had great ethical values. He cared about people and the planet . I learnt a lot from Woody through his work and his character and he will be a legend in Highfields, talked about for many years to come. RIP friend. ❤️

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  2. Woody was one of the very few people I knew when I moved to Leicester in 2011 as I had been living in a housing co-op in Coventry and we were both part of the Radical Routes network – Corani and Coventry Peace House. He soon had me in immersed in local community activity about which he was passionate. He was a kind and thoughtful man, always looking for ways to involve our diverse communities. I learned a lot from him. Thank you Woody. Your influence on South Highfields has been huge and will live on.
    Penny

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  3. Woody was a key part of HART and SHN for many years, someone who challenged complacency and who was passionate about improving life for local people. His enthusiasm and vision helped to keep HART going when membership was at a low ebb. He was a kind and inspiring person, loved and appreciated by many. I am grateful to have known him and he will be very much missed.

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  4. As a young Australian environmentalist I ended up WWOOFing at Braziers Park, near Wallingford. Woody was a regular visitor and event organiser there. Woody had an infectious enthusiasm, gently yet relentlessly propagating ideas and ways of being to support life-affirming social and ecological connections. Thank you for all you did for people and our planet Woody.

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  5. Woody loved the Anglo-Saxon period and was a member of a national organisation called the English Companions which is a group of enthusiasts for the period who as a local group met monthly in Leicester quite close to Highfields to give talks and also had 2 feasts a year where we would bring food to share which could only come from the period. Some of us have known him for decades. Woody would often come along after a HART meeting and we knew he was very involved with all kinds of other local and regional groups and causes. As people have said he was passionate and enthusiastic in his beliefs and good at inspiring action. He was a one off and we will miss him very much.

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  6. I lived in Highfields, mainly in Bartholomew Street, for 25 years and was Woody’s partner for about 16 of those. I remember him best for his positive energy, enthusiasm and his wild ideas – he could be controversial at times! He loved his Highfields home and his many friends there. My best memory of the residents association was of the summer day trips to Skegness, especially the one where the coach broke down before we got out of Leicester! We got there in the end! I’ve lived in Spain for 14 years now but stayed in touch with Woody and, whenever I was in the area, we’d meet up. It’s been tough recently, knowing he wasn’t well, but not being able to get over and help in any way (I know many people are having similar evperiences, due to Covid-19), so I want to say “thank you” to all the people who were there for him. I will miss him very much.

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  7. Woody was a lovely lovely man. My first contact with him was when I went on one of his summer trips to the seaside . Woody has always been a community man who would do anything for anyone. He always had a positive outlook on life and was always telling jokes. May you RIEP peace Woody. You will never be forgotten xxx

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  8. I got to know Woody through what was then Rusty (now Leicester Car Sharing Club), the car sharing group founded within Corani housing cooperative. He was so committed to ensuring that we considered the needs of the local community whenever possible and certainly put himself as a driver at the disposal of many. I think that’s why he wanted us to hold on to an old Omega estate, as it could carry large items easily. We teased him about his love of the old banger but admired his dedicating to serving the community. He was also passionate about getting a car based down in St Matthews, where he knew many people did not have access to a car of their own, and continued to push us to look into getting an electric vehicle. Sadly neither of those two things happened in his lifetime but he has left us a mandate, particularly around engaging as much as possible with climate action networks. It was a joy and inspiration to know him in these last few years when he still continued to give so much.

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  9. I got to know Woody when I first started working in Highfields in 2006 where my first encounter was at the joint Stoneygate and Spinney Hills meetings – I remember him giving the Councillors a run for their money particularly around parking in Highfields! Woody was passionate about making the area a better place. Woody has engaged with us at St Peter’s in many ways including attending the Lunch Club and doing handyman work as well as through H.A.R.T and S.H.N. He was always kind and considerate and fought passionately for the things he believed in. He was a voice for many and will be sorely missed by all the community. R.I.P Woody

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  10. Woody was one of the first residents I met when I became the warden for stoneygate 9 years ago he was very supportive and his love for the ward made my job become less of a job and more of a joy.his constant support at ward meeting with other residents only made me want to make more of a difference in the ward he was so supportive when he saw me in the streets patrolling stopping to have a chat.he will be sorely missed and made a massive difference in the area.

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  11. Message from Lucy Chaplin and Cllr Ross Willmott:
    Woody was fiercely proud of Highfields and cared about his local community.
    Ross knew Woody for many years through the council.
    I got to know Woody through my work as your local councillor; and because Woody cared, others cared, and people came together to stand up for Highfields. He helped us all to remember that everyone is equal, and just because we speak out, we are not trouble-makers. He inspired me on many occasions to stand up and speak out for Highfields. I was honoured to do so. Woody once told me I was doing ok as a councillor. When Woody was very ill, I wrote to him to tell him that he had done ok too as a campaigner, but now he needed to put his own needs first. Woody, rest easy, you did your bit, and can be pleased with your legacy in the community. We shall all come together in the future to celebrate Woody’s life. Ross and I will be there.

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  12. I’ve known Woody ever since I moved to South Highfields in 2011. His energy was enormous. His enthusiasm was boundless. His instinct was always to do his utmost for the whole community. I will always remember him in his blue overalls, toolbox in hand, working to make South Highfields an even better place.

    Alan Fox

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  13. My favourite memory of Woody is his annual Christmas card, with ‘Christmas’ crossed out and replaced with ‘Solstice’. Instead of the usual seasonal greetings, he always wrote ‘Respect for your energies’. Woody had another endearing habit, which was to deliver a red rose to some of us in South Highfields on International Women’s Day. The last time I saw Woody looking well was at the Chinese New Year/Burns night do on February 29th. He had typically gone to the trouble of making [and transporting] a jelly which hadn’t set very well. It required a polite rather than enthusiastic response!
    Well done, Woody. We will always remember you.
    Kate

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  14. DILIP’S SPEECH AT WOODY’S FUNERAL ON 25 JUNE 2020
    Greetings all.
    Woody, what a special person, loved by all in our community.
    He was passionate and active in our community. He set up projects that made a difference in our community. He was not just a member of the community, he was a leader. When he could see that something was wrong and something that needed to be done, he got it done. Through friendship, he would encourage people to work with him and so make things happen.
    He sought to help everyone. He was colour blind [approach not eyesight]. He would pump up the tyres on children’s bikes and their footballs. He would lend tools to other trades people. He and his ladders would be used when someone had locked themselves out and he could get in through a bedroom window.
    Many people when they learnt that Woody had died, including members of South Highfields neighbours, Stoneygate councillors, and Lucy, asked me to pass on their condolences to his family, which i do now.
    Woody will forever be missed by us all, yet he will never be far from us because he will be forever in our hearts and thoughts.
    An incredible soul, Woody Wood.

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  15. There are so many good tnigs in Leicester that would never have happened without Woody. He really cared about the community and acted on his beliefs. Thanks Woody.

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  16. After some years being an electrical engineer in the Army during the ‘cold war’, Woody became dissatisfied. When he left military service, he explored various organisations and movements looking for a ‘home’ for his thinking and values. He found what he was searching for in the radical co-operative movement. He moved from London to a housing and workers co-operative in Burnley. After serving his ‘apprenticeship’ there he came to Leicester, to Highfields, determined to create something similar here. The outcome was two workers co-operatives, a housing co-operative, an income sharing group, a vehicle sharing group, a capital sharing group, and an agency that nurtures co-operatives and social enterprises in Leicester and Leicestershire. All were created and sustained through Woody’s ability to nurture friendship. Some are still thriving, some have not been sustained. In a society that promotes competition, greed and division, Woody has shown us that a different, more human way is possible.

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