Tributes to Hilsea pensioner who made international headlines after duck-feeding fine threat

TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who made international headlines after being threatened with a £60 fine for feeding ducks.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 10:37 am

More than 50 people bid farewell to pensioner Beryl Stewart, who died at the age of 89, at her funeral in Portchester.

Former secretary Beryl and two pals made international headlines after appearing in The News in 2005.

She had been warned for feeding ducks by the lake near Hilsea Lido, London Road, along with Sheila Lucas and Betty Crisp.

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Beryl Stewart was threatened with a £60 littering fine by a council employee for feeding ducks at the lake by the Hilsea Lido near London Road. PICTURE: JONATHAN BRADY 053090-11

The trio of bird lovers fell foul of a Portsmouth City Council worker who dished out the fixed penalty warning for leaving bread behind.

The ‘heavy-handed- threat was eventually overturned with £60 worth of flowers sent to the friends by way of apology.

Sheila, now 72, of Northwood Road, Hilsea, said Beryl had been a ‘very good friend’.

She said Beryl had been the one of the trio to want to publicise their fine – and she remains bewildered by the international interest.

‘We’d been feeding the ducks for quite some time and people have been feeding the ducks around there for years.

‘But it all got out of hand – there was some silly little person from the council that came round.’

She added: ‘All we were doing was feeding the ducks.’

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Sheila attended Beryl’s funeral and said her friend ‘really cared’ about the area she lived – Parade Court, Hilsea.

Beryl retired from Portsmouth Polytechnic as a secretary after first working for the city council. She had moved from London to live in the city.

In her retirement she did lots for Portsmouth Cats Protection, and representatives from the organisation were at her funeral.

In her teenage years she had won awards for poetry.

Her second cousin Ian Chapman, 59, said: ‘She was quite an incredible lady.

‘She was really caring about her own community.

‘When she retired from Portsmouth Polytechnic as a secretary she put her life into the local community.’

He added: ‘She was quite a character. Everywhere she walked everyone would recognised her and know her.’

Beryl died on October 28 and her funeral took place on December 1.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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