MARTYN DANIELS 1952-2020: A TRIBUTE
Chariman Isle of Dogs Allotment Society 2018-2020
It is with great sadness that we write to all members and friends of London Life blog and also the Isle of Dogs & District Allotment Society a short piece in appreciation of the contribution to the social life, hard work, fairness and vision of your Chairman, Martyn Daniels. Martyn died suddenly of a heart attack on 18th December 2020 at home with his beloved wife Annie and whippet Lottie by his side. It was the very day that he published his last blog post here.
The website Martyn created for the Society www.iodadas.com is much appreciated and used for new membership enquiries daily and remains to this day an historical tribute to the allotments which we love. Martyn organised the website not only by history, awards and events, but also by colourful characters who have grown produce here over decades. He also curated vast gallery of archive images with the help of local historians.
Martyn was an active Committee member and upheld the values for which he had become well known in business, reaching the Board of B&Q and creating award-winning publishing technologies.
Martyn truly was an original, from his love of Northern Soul music, art, an expert in DIY, he loved to paint, walk in Majorca, watch Sheffield Wednesday, play guitar and tend his allotment.
The Society have agreed with his widow Annie to design a suitable memorial. Charity donations have raised money to build raised beds for gardeners with disabilities, physical or mental health issues, which was very close to his heart and to follow the plans Martyn left behind.
Martyn’s greatest legacy must of course be the 99 year lease he won on behalf of not just the Allotments but also Mudchute Farm. He co operated and built bridges over long standing issues which he overcame and negotiated so that everyone was a winner.
A new Silver trophy, THE MARTYN DANIELS AWARD FOR GOING THE EXTRA MILE has been engraved. His yellow bench on the upper plots will be repainted and sunflowers painted on the trading shed he refurbished and clad in wood - all are planned to honour his memory. The TV clip of his Lockdown “help a neighbouring plotholder who is isolating” was broadcast in April 2019 to the soundtrack Kelly’s Heroes. Martyn was our allotments hero. He was still running full tilt, and had been asked to be London Rep for the National Allotments Council, such was his commitment.