Tributes paid to former chairman of Horsham twinning association

Henry Sheldon
Henry Sheldon
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Tributes were paid to a former chairman of Horsham’s twinning association who died last week aged 87.

As chair of the Horsham Town Twinning Association, Henry Sheldon, who lived in Heron Way, helped drive the town’s twinning with the German town of Lage in 1985.

David, his son, said that he was a man who would get things done and not make a big fuss, and one of the biggest drivers in his life was his Christian faith as a member of Brighton Road Baptist Church.

Born in Germany in 1926, Henry moved to England in the 1930s after his father decided to leave the Nazi-controlled state.

He then moved from North London to Horsham in 1967 with his young family.

As one of the founder members, along with Paul Brant, of the twinning association he helped sign the agreement with Lage.

David explained: “He never expressed it but I think there was an element of knocking down those barriers that were erected over the Second World War.”

He added: “I think the twinning he would have considered one of his greatest achievements, and I think he really enjoyed going out there and he enjoyed what it meant bringing the two towns together.”

Peter Mullarky, current chairman of Horsham District Twinning Association, paid tribute to Henry, fondly known as ‘Heini’.

He said: “Henry was tireless in his efforts - with his charming and friendly way - but with a steely determination to see that it worked. In the first decade of twinning Henry was frequently chairman and led many Horsham visits to Lage and organised the hosting of Lage visits to us.

“As a Lage newspaper wrote last week: ‘Without him the twinning arrangement would have had no life in it’. In 1995 Lage awarded him the Lage Silver Medal in honour of his work. After his retirement, in addition to the marvellous work he did for Brighton Road Baptist Church and for community projects in Horsham in general, Henry continued to give his spirited support to the work of twinning. We shall miss him.”

During his time working with Horsham Churches Together he helped establish TACT (the Temporary Accommodation Trust), which leased flats for young people who had nowhere else to live, and was involved in setting up the Christian Centre in Horsham.

He leaves behind his wife Sheila, four sons, and five grandchildren.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Brighton Road Baptist Church on Friday June 7 at 1pm. Anyone who knew Henry is welcome to attend.