THAME town councillors have been saddened by the death of Ken Jones, who has died aged 78 following a battle with cancer.

Before his retirement, Mr Jones was the manager of the town’s Co-op store.

His management skills proved a huge asset at Stones Close Allotments, where his work spanned decades.

As chairman of the allotments management committee, he allocated plots sensitively and efficiently in a way that showed his cooperative values and community spirit.

He retired as chairman of the allotments association due to ill health shortly before he died.

Most days of the week, Mr Jones and his wife Gladys, could be found at the site.

To spot his distinctive green and white van was to know that a cheerful face and practical advice were nearby.

In his van were all the tools he could possibly need for the chores involved.

As Mr Jones looked after the large community garden, he was very generous when it came to letting people borrow his machinery.

According to the town council, Mr Jones always showed great pride and enthusiasm when showing people around the allotments.

Michelle Diffey, allotments committee secretary, said: “Ken Jones was a wonderful chairman who inspired a sense of pride in the committee. The allotments have never looked so good. This was down to Ken’s leadership.

“When the sun sets on the allotments, and shines through the clouds, we know that Ken is watching over us!”

Dick Chamberlain, allotments committee member, added: “You would find Ken at the allotments on most days of the week in his own special green and white van which he would use to back up a multitude of maintenance tasks which he did around the site.

“What Ken did, day in and day out, was to put total effort into achieving the highest standards of upkeep across the whole site.”

Mr Jones leaves wife Gladys, daughter Caroline and two grandsons.

His funeral is being held on Friday, June 18 at 6.30pm at St John’s Chapel at Oxford Crematorium. Donations can be made to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals or the Prostate Cancer Charity.