Tribute to Potter Street’s community champion and much loved resident Jane Chivrall

History / Fri 1st Oct 2021 at 09:54am

A TRIBUTE to Potter Street resident, Jane Chivrall, who died on Wednesday September 29th after a typically brave and defiant battle with cancer.

As a local journalist of some years, there is a certain type of person who is the glue that keeps the community together.

Jane Chivrall was one of those persons.

I first met Jan in March 2014, when she was the school crossing patrol lady in Potter Street. There was a campaign to save her job, a job Jane had done for 25 years.

Even then, you could sense that Jane was the heartbeat of the community. She was so much more than a lollipop lady. Those children were her flock, her community. She saw them all off to school and she saw them all back again.

That is why she recieved a Civic Award in June 2014.

And so a friendship began over seven years. When Jane rang the YH offices, it was never a two minute conversation.

Traffic measures, Prentice Place, the Baptist Church, Harlow Common Residents Association you name it, Jane was at the heart of it.

Jane’s next campaign was the Save Osler House Surgery. One minute Jane and a few local residents are campaigning to save the surgery, the next minute she is live on Sky News!

That was our Jane. As the old Irish saying goes” the squeakiest wheel gets the most oil”

The surgery did close but Jane continued to campaign for a community and health hub to replace it. That campaign goes on and Jane’s spirit is very much alive.

In November 2018, we ran a series of film to mark the 126 men of Harlow who died in World War One. Jane marshalled her troops at the Baptist Church and organised a series of readings for us.

That was Jane. It was not what her community could do for Jane, it was what Jane could do for her community.

In April 2019, the Danish equivalent of BBC News contacted YH with an aim to do a joint news item on Brexit. Jan was one of the five residents they interviewed. The reporter Anna Gaarslev found Jane fascinating.

Even when Jane was in Princess Alexandra Hospital, she was ringing YH, concerned about the conditions in the hospital. She was the ultimate good Samaritan.

I will miss Jane but I feel blessed and honoured to have known her. She was the type of person that made Harlow great and leaves a tremendous legacy.

Our thoughts are with her family.

Jane’s funeral is at Harlow Crematorium on Tuesday October 12th followed by a celebration of her life at Potter Street Baptist Church.


Michael Casey

October 1st, 2021

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11 Comments for Tribute to Potter Street’s community champion and much loved resident Jane Chivrall:

gary roberts
2021-10-01 10:26:58

My condolences to Jane's family and her friends. She believed in improving Potter Street in general and Prentice Place and Osler House in particular. She took on and challenged authority to get progress and results for our community and never gave up. I did not know she was unwell but that fact just increases my respect for her. Rest in peace Jane Chivrall.

Tony Durcan
2021-10-01 13:20:54

Well done Michael beautiful article. Great local champion who made a difference.

Sylvia Shearman
2021-10-01 13:38:28

Very sad news my condolences to her family .She was such a campaigner for potter Street.

Sue Gale
2021-10-01 14:55:50

Have known Jane for many many years , she will be missed and remembered by all of the Potter Street community. My thoughts go out to the family at this sad time. No longer suffering xx

Chris Paterson
2021-10-01 15:33:39

Jane was there to see my son safely across the road ,she was still there 24yrs later to see my daughter across the road too. Sweet Jane our hero in potter street ,you will be greatly missed by us all. Xx

Colin Thorpe
2021-10-01 18:31:04

As a,lasting legacy to Jane.please support the project she was working on " Potter Street Health & Wellbeing Hub

Bob Davis
2021-10-01 20:37:10

I'm Sorry in the passing of Jane. I worked with her and others to turn Osler House into a community hub. Sadly she will not be around to see the fruits of her labour. We must Honour her in some way Cllr Bob Davis

Kay Morrison
2021-10-02 08:46:56

Well done, Michael. I wish I has known her ... but she leaves quite a legacy, quite an example. A lasting inspiration.

Anita Puddy
2021-10-02 09:25:04

Such a sad time for all such a lovely lady she would take me in her car so we could both get our children from Purfeed Green School always would help GOD BLESS JANE (R.I.P)

Pauline S
2021-10-02 10:38:54

Thank you Michael for reporting Jane so correctly. Kindly see if you can provide timing details for the Crem. and Potter St Baptist Church on Tuesday 12th October.

2021-10-12 20:32:02

So sad to have learned just yesterday of the passing of Jane. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family, especially George, at this sad and difficult time. RIP Jane, you will be greatly missed. Wendy & John Morgan

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