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Camden New Journal - OBITUARY
Published: 16 October 2008

Ken Avery
Tories’ youngest-ever face at Town Hall

WHEN London Transport Museum in Covent Garden was undergoing a facelift, designers modeled the figure of a passenger on volunteer Ken Avery.
Mr Avery, who has died aged 66, had two lifelong loves: London Transport and public service. He was a Camden Tory councillor from 1966 to 1986, served as a governor at Argyle Primary School in Bloomsbury and then in later years was a councillor in Kent.
He was born in Finsbury Park at the height of the war. His mother Elsie, a shop assistant, had been evacuated with his older brother David but could not bear to leave her husband behind – he was a police officer based at Hornsey Road station in Holloway.
Ken attended William Ellis School in Parliament Hill and later studied science at London University.
He then worked at the Paddington headquarters of chemical giant Beechams as a market researcher, a job he was to keep until his retirement.
At school, he enjoyed the debating society and as a 24-year-old stood for the Conservatives in Bloomsbury. He won the seat in 1966, becoming the youngest-ever Tory councillor in Camden – a record that stands to this day – and held it for the next 20 years.
He is remembered by former Town Hall colleagues as a solid worker and committee man, happy to go over the minutiae of council business.
He once used his training as a statistician to help redraw Camden’s ward boundaries, although his plans were ultimately shelved.
His abiding love was of public transport. After moving to Canterbury, in Kent, following his retirement, he would still travel to Covent Garden once a week to work as a volunteer at the mus­eum, where his likeness sits proudly in the carriage of a train.
He became involved in a campaign to reopen the Crab and Winkle branch line to Whitstable, closed by Dr Beeching in the 1960s.
Ken welcomed the opening of the Channel Tunnel link, bagging a seat on a Eurostar train on the second day of the route‘s operation.
A confirmed Euro­phile, he hoped to persuade Tory party colleagues of the benefits of European integration through his work with the pressure group, the East Kent European Movement.

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