Tribute to Diana Lendon
ONE of Exmouth s most loved and well known residents, the Squirrel lady , Diana Lendon, has died at the age of 87. Diana, of Exeter Road, was popularly know as the Squirrel lady as she could be seen regularly walking to Manor Gardens
ONE of Exmouth's most loved and well known residents, the "Squirrel lady", Diana Lendon, has died at the age of 87.
Diana, of Exeter Road, was popularly know as the "Squirrel lady" as she could be seen regularly walking to Manor Gardens with her trusty walking stick in-hand and basket, suitably filled to the brim with an assortment of nuts for her furry friends.
She would often call out to the squirrels and they would hop over to her and either take the nuts out of her basket or - if they were feeling brave - out of her hand.
Born on a farm in Hampshire in 1921, she loved animals all her life and joined the Women's Air Force in 1939 where, stationed in Blackpool, she rose to the rank of sergeant - where she told her friend Ken Bradbury "she had a grand time".
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She married an RAF officer and after the war they ran several pubs together in Devon, including at Lyme Regis and the Two Tonnes at Barnstaple.
They moved to Exmouth, Exeter Road, in 1982 where sadly her husband died in 2002.
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After recently suffering two broken hips she was treated at Exmouth Hospital and spent the last few weeks of her life at the Amber Wood Care Home Exeter Road.
"They looked after her well although she hated hospitals - she always preferred to be outside," said her friend Ken Bradbury.
"In the summer months she was always in Manor Gardens, and she used to teach the children how to feed the squirrels, while the parents took photos.
"She was very popular - there must be a great many holiday makers around the country that she gave nuts to so that they could be filmed feeding the gardens' squirrels.
"She was a very lovely lady, we had lots in common. We both loved animals and always had lots to talk about and she was a good friend - sadly Exmouth has lost one of its squirrel ladies."
She leaves had no surviving relatives apart from a Nephew Michael Scott who lives in Kent.