Former Conservative councillor and Mayor of Brent Gwen Tookey dies aged 96
17:54 18 October 2016
A former Mayor of Brent who had a street in the borough named after has died at the age of 96.
Gwen Tookey was a former Conservative councillor in the borough and held the mayor title in 1995 to 1996.
Born Gwendoline Biggs in a tenement yard in London in 1920, she had three sisters and four brothers.
She excelled academically but her parents were unable to afford for her to pursue further education so she left school at the age of 14.
She became a Sunday school teacher and in 1942 she married Normal Tookey, who was in the Royal Army Corps, and they went on to have on child – a daughter called Katie.
Mr Tookey died in 1972.
During the World War II Mrs Tookey was a volunteer fire watcher and an aircraft inspector.
In 1968 she became a Conservative councillor for the Kingsbury ward, a position she held for 20 years and was also a governor at Claremont High and Kingsbury Green Primary school.
She sat on every committee and sub-committee during her time in the council and
Tookey Close in Kenton was named in her honour.
Madeleine Sutherland, Mrs Tookey’s goddaughter said: “I have known her literally all your life. I would visit her every two weeks.
“The general opinion of Gwen was she was cankerous, difficult, forceful but she got a hell of a lot done in her life.
“I would like to thank the Catholic Voluntary Service and her carers
Jim O’Sullivan, former Conservative councillor for Barnhill and ex-Mayor of Brent, added: “This is sad news and she will be missed.
“Gwen served the community for many years and there must be many, many people out there she helped greatly.”
Mrs Tookey’s funeral took place in Harrow last week.
She leaves behind her daughter and four grandchildren.