London Colney justice campaigner dies aged 105

Jean at a recent birthday celebration

Jean at a recent birthday celebration - Credit: Archant

Centenarian-plus Jean McQueen Boyes, who was renowned for riding her bicycle around London Colney until she was 95, has died at the grand old age of 105.

Christened Jane but known to her friends as Jean, she was born in November 1909 in Auchencairn in the south west of Scotland, one of five brothers and sisters.

She left Scotland to find work in London Colney in the early 1930s and was one of the first tenants of the Napsbury Estate in what became a tight=knit community.

Her husband Joe Boyes worked at the De Havilland Aircraft Company from its beginnings at Stag Lane and later when it moved to the site at


Her younger brother Tom McQueen was killed in action in 1941 and his name is on the London Colney War Memorial.

During the war Jean worked in war service at a Borehamwood Factory making parts for the Mosquito aircraft before going on to work for many years at Napsbury Hospital.

Most Read

When the hospital was closed and the site developed as housing, Boyes Crescent was named after her in recognition of her work at the hospital and her long residency in the village.

Jean granddaughter, Tamara Fogarty, said: “Jean was a life-long campaigner for justice both within and outside her own community. She selflessly looked after other people all her life and would never turn someone in need away, even letting people come to stay with her in her home when they had nowhere else to go.

“Her care and sense of ‘goodness’ shone through and was remarked on by all who knew her. That, and a tremendous sense of fun.”

Still riding her bike around London Colney until she was 95, Jean remained independent until her death, living at home and

enjoying her daily crossword, card games, poems and puzzles.

She also enjoyed baking and cooking for the family and was a strict vegetarian.

Jean leaves a daughter Glenda, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

She died peacefully at home last month surrounded by her family and good friends. The funeral will be held at 11.4opm next Monday, March 9, at West Herts Crematorium in Garston.