Community says last farewell to loyal park stalwart Philip Ollerenshaw
FRIENDS and family of a father who dedicated his retirement to helping the Alvaston community have paid their respects at his funeral.
About a hundred people filled Markeaton Crematorium to say their last goodbyes to Philip Ollerenshaw yesterday.
The 69-year-old played a key role in the regeneration of Alvaston Park, overseeing a range of improvements at the site, including the development of a pavilion, cafe and BMX track.
He died of lung cancer only two years after overcoming oesophageal cancer.
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At his funeral service, his daughter, Lisa, 45, said her father and mother, Joan, had enjoyed a 48-year marriage.
Speaking during the service, she said: "I can't say they never had a cross word; indeed, one of their last conversations was, in fact, an argument about a banana.
"But they loved each other and, between us all, we had him for 69 years, which really doesn't seem too bad."
She told how her father had grown up in Allestree with his two brothers, John and Fred, in a house "considered posh because it had an indoor loo".
She said: "He was always good at maths at school and, in his 50s, completed a maths O-level, just for fun, getting an A grade – which he reminded me regularly about, since I only got a B."
She said he loved IT and had numerous gadgets, helping people with their computer problems.
He was also a keen fisherman.
Mr Ollerenshaw married Joan in 1964 and, during his career, he worked at lawnmower manufacturer Qualcast, then at ASG, in London Road, Derby, retiring at 65.
The couple lived in Denstone Drive and, as well as Lisa, they had another daughter, Sarah, 43.
It was during his retirement that Mr Ollerenshaw became involved with the Alvaston community, forming the Alvaston Park Friends to pro-actively support and promote the recreational site.
In 2008, the park's BMX track was upgraded to national standards by Derby City Council's Cycle Derby team, thanks to an £85,000 grant from Sport England.
And, in 2010, a £700,000 cafe and pavilion, including football changing rooms, a cricketers' club and a ranger's office was opened.
In a letter published in the Derby Telegraph yesterday, Derby City Council leader and Alvaston councillor Paul Bayliss paid tribute to Mr Ollerenshaw. He wrote: "It was an honour and a privilege to know Philip. It is my regret I did not know him for longer or indeed sooner."