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Shakespeare Institute mourns sad loss of gardener David Gould

DAVID Gould, the much-loved gardener at the Shakespeare Institute, has died after a short illness.

Professor Michael Dobson, said: “All of us at the Shakespeare Institute are distressed to have to report the death of our beloved groundsman and caretaker David Gould.

"David had served the institute for 35 years and his simultaneous shyness, pragmatism and willingness to go far beyond the call of duty won the hearts of generations of students and indeed faculty. We will install a memorial to him in the gardens which he tended with such loving care: we will always remember him there anyway.”

David was in his mid-60s and did not have immediate family, as Prof Dobson told the Herald: “He had no surviving biological relatives. His parents had been very active in running the Stratford branch of the British Legion, and to some extent it was the Legion, along with the community at the institute, which served David in lieu of family.”

David pictured in 2010 at a celebration to mark his 25th year at the institute. (46336051)
David pictured in 2010 at a celebration to mark his 25th year at the institute. (46336051)

The institute is part of the University of Birmingham, and is based at Mason Croft – parts of which date back to the 1600s – in Church Street, Stratford.

Many students and colleagues have paid tribute to David on Facebook, remembering his kindly presence.

Karin Thomson said: “It was always reassuring to know that David was there to help fix something in the library or just for a much-needed friendly chat. Before every holiday he'd leave us chocolates on our desks.

"He was so incredibly kind-hearted and patient. He was an ever-fixed mark at the institute, somewhere that was much more than just a place of work to him. He'll not only be missed, I'm not sure how they'll cope without him.”

Helen Osborne recalled: “There was so much to like about him – his skill with the beautiful garden, his kindness, his interest in our achievements, however large or small – but his patience most of all.

"He cheerfully put up with our rehearsals that over-ran, our meetings that needed five more minutes, our play-readings with ‘just one act to go, honestly, we promise’, our costumes and props and our silliness and seriousness.”

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