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PM pays tribute to ‘pillar of the community’ David Jennings

A MUCH-LOVED and respected village butcher whose regular customers included Prime Minister Theresa May has died suddenly aged 57, writes Sue Corcoran.

David Jennings went into the family butchers shop in Hurst last Saturday to open up, but went back home to Woodley as he had a flu bug, said his wife Jacky. Mr Jennings then went to bed and felt better later. In the evening he went to lie down again.

“An hour later I went up to check on him … I tried to revive him. The paramedics were there in minutes and tried to revive him,” she said.

“He was a wonderful husband, the best.”

Speaking to The Wokingham Paper, the Prime Minister said: “[My husband] Philip and I are long standing customers of P & D Jennings Butchers and we were very sad to hear the news of his sudden death.

“David was a pillar of the local community, very well-known and respected; he would always greet you cheerfully, even if you came into the shop at 7am on a Saturday morning! He will be greatly missed by us, as I am sure he will be by many others.”

Mr Jennings had a warm relationship with his customers including Mrs May. Recently he told The Wokingham Paper: “I get on very well with her (Mrs May), I do poke gentle fun at her and she gives it back. We have a bit of fun. She’s a lovely lady, very professional and very nice,” he said.

Also paying tribute was Hurst councillor Wayne Smith. He said: “The news about the tragic and sudden death of David Jennings has come as a huge shock to the village. David was one of the nicest people you would care to meet.

“Always having something amusing to say, it was a pleasure to be in his company – especially when it came to discussing Manchester United or the cricket, he was never short of something to say.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to Jacky, his wife and the whole family. It is truly a terrible loss for them and Hurst have lost a great friend.”

Many customers visited and phoned the shop on Tuesday to pass on their condolences to Jacky and to David’s parents. David Jennings was a member of Henley Golf Club for 40 years. He and his wife had been married for 32 years.

Mr Jennings leaves his parents, Peter and Eve Jennings, his wife and sons Michael, a computer journalist who is married to Beth, and Stewart, who is doing a PhD at Leeds University and whose partner is Kamalika.

Peter Jennings, now 85, is one of three brothers, all butchers, who ran businesses in Earley, Wargrave, Twyford and Hurst. Peter and David took over the Hurst shop in 1988, building the new premises there in 1991.

  • What are your memories of Mr Jennings? Send your tributes to news@wokinghampaper.co.uk

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been a regular customer at Jennings for many many years. I then went to live in France but my Christmas order which I phoned through, was always ready for my husband to pick up and bring over the channel.
    Each trip I’ve made since has included a visit to Hurst and David was always more than willing to organize and prepare my order to take back with me.
    His Dad, too, was so friendly and ready with a joke.
    You will be badly missed by your family and all your loyal customers.

  2. David was simply a lovely, lovely man & he will be sorely missed. It’s not often these days that a local vendor has such a rapport with customers but David had that special something and in spades.

    Our thoughts go out to Jacky & the family.

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