Tributes paid to Len and his beloved garden

editorial image

Tributes have been made to a Scarborough man who was well-know for his beautiful Old Town garden planted up in memory of his beloved wife.

Len Stringer, 89, of Longwestgate, was admired for his work by neighbours, Britain in Bloom judges and even playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

Sir Alan, also an Old Town resident, said of Len: “I live in the Old Town there is a man who lives just three doors down from me who, a few years ago planted, in his wife’s memory a little garden of his own and he tends it every day and that benefits us all. I walk out of my front door there is this blaze of colour.”

The comments were made on Gardener’s World, which came to Scarborough to film for the Coastal Resort section of Britain in Bloom.

Originally from Barnsley, Len was the ninth of 10 children. After leaving school, he became an apprentice motor mechanic.

Following army training at Carlisle, Aberdeen and Kent, Driver Stringer sailed on an American boat with his truck carrying supplies from the East India Dock to the landing beach at Arromanches in Normandy.

His role for the duration of the war was to transport all kinds of supplies, living in and maintaining his truck.

From France to Belgium following the Battle of the Bulge eventually arriving in Berlin, ferrying supplies to the Russian zone.

Poignantly, it was in a liberated concentration camp in Germany that found 20-year-old Len gently assisting survivors to the portable medical vans.

Len came back to Scarborough and married Margaret in 1949. They had four children and settled in Longwestgate.

Len joined the ambulance service and worked for the NHS for 27 years. The couple also ran a guest house for a number of years.

His daughter Tracey said: “He was a lovely, lovely man who will be remembered above all for his wonderful sense of humour.

“Neighbours and strangers would stop and chat to him whilst he was working on the garden in the street. He treated everyone with the same warmth and friendly manner which made him a delight to know.”

Cllr Janet Jefferson, of Castle ward, added: “Len did a wonderful job with his garden and he was an inspiration to everyone else in the area.”