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Sad losses of Pershore festival founders
TWO of the founders of a major Worcestershire festival have died within weeks of each other.
Marion Freeman and Dave Shaw, who helped to set up the Pershore Plum Festival about 17 years ago, died just eight days apart.
The unexpected deaths of Mrs Freeman, a former Pershore may- or, and serving town Coun Shaw have caused shock and sadness to their family and friends, who have paid tribute to them this week.
Mrs Freeman, who dedicated much of her time to the town’s heritage centre, died on December 28 aged 78 after a heart attack.
Her daughter said her mum would be greatly missed by her husband Ken, two children and three grandchildren but would be remembered for her work with Pershore Operatic Dramatic Soc-iety and as mayor in 1999.
Christine Yallop said: “She enjoyed her time as mayor. We are all very proud of her.”
During her life Mrs Freeman penned seven books about her beloved town including her first, titled Pershore, in 1997.
Another of her achievements was to set up the Pershore Plum Festival alongside Dave Shaw, who died suddenly on Saturday aged 64 of a brain haemorrhage.
Jan Shaw said her husband was a people person who loved Pershore.
Mr Shaw, who leaves behind six sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren, was involved with the Vale Landscape Heritage Trust.
Pershore Mayor Charles Tucker said: “Although we have lost Marion we have the legacy of her books. Dave has been a stalwart councillor for so many years. They will be very much missed.”
The funeral of Marion Freeman will be held at Pershore Abbey on Monday at midday. A date for Mr Shaw’s funeral has not yet been set.