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Final parade for akela

PUBLISHED: 16:30 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:29 23 August 2010

Ann Read

Ann Read

CUB scouts led a parade of more than 100 people through a town at the funeral of their popular leader who died of heart disease. The funeral of Ann Read, 64, of Sweyne Road, Swanscombe, was held at St Peter s and St Paul s Church, Swanscombe last Wednesd

CUB scouts led a parade of more than 100 people through a town at the funeral of their popular leader who died of heart disease.

The funeral of Ann Read, 64, of Sweyne Road, Swanscombe, was held at St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Swanscombe last Wednesday.

A parade, led by cubs from the 1st Galley Cub scout pack, based in Church Road, Swanscombe, with the Mayor of Dartford Ian Armitt, marched from the cub scout hall through the town to the church.

The hearse carrying her coffin followed the parade, decorated with angels and pink roses, displaying the words "nanny" and "mum".

Her husband of more than 40 years, Jim Read, said: "It made me very proud to see the number of people that came up to pay their respects.

"I have never seen anything like this in Swanscombe before, with the community coming together. It was a fitting tribute to her, someone that was so well known. She would have been smiling down at us.

"She was a very lovable woman, she looked after me, she was faithful. When we first got married all that time ago, everybody said it wouldn't last. But it did."

Mrs Read collapsed outside the George and Dragon pub in London Road, Swanscombe on January 23. She died on her way to hospital.

As well as being the Akela of the cub pack for more than 40 years, she did a lot of work for various charities, and fostered numerous children and looked after many more.

Her daughter Trudy, 35, said: "The service was absolutely amazing, the number of people that turned up to pay their respects to people was overwhelming.

"The church was packed, people were even standing at the back. We had a slideshow of my mum, of her life, and the Mayor of Dartford, who knew her well, spoke about her. It was very emotional.

"My mum was wonderful, she was always surrounded by children, she took in so many, a lot of them from broken homes."

A fundraising internet site set up in Mrs Read's memory for the children's charity, Make a Wish Foundation, has so far raised £290. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/ annread- akela

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