On March 8, International Women’s Day, we recognise the importance of celebrating women across the BID area who are making a difference and stand as models for others in Paddington and beyond.
This year we celebrate the life of Jill Blowers, who sadly passed away on 6 December 2020.
Jill worked closely with the BID for many years in her role as Head of Property Services, first at St Mary’s NHS Trust and then at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust from 1999 until she retired in April 2020.
She was instrumental in helping the BID install the large planters, railing troughs and plant pots along the Praed Street frontage of St. Mary’s Hospital, which continue to brighten up the street for everyone who walks by.
She helped facilitate the installation of St. Mary’s experimental sunken rain garden and a green wall with the BID on Winsland Mews.
Jill was an avid supporter of the BID’s London and Britain in Bloom campaigns, meeting judges and explaining the benefits and positive comments that the hospital received from our greening efforts.
In her last year working for the Imperial Healthcare Trust, she was unwavering in her efforts to support the BID and Kevin Brown, the museum curator, in plans to revive the outdated but unique Alexander Fleming Museum.
Together, we were able to clean the exterior of the listed museum frontage, install a new CCTV security entry system, add greenery to the entrance way and update the outdoor signage. Thanks to her determination in pushing through approvals, the Alexander Fleming Museum can once again elevate itself to attract tourists, students and visitors to Paddington.
Earlier in her career she was part of a project designed to improve the aesthetic environment for patients at St. Marys. Representing estates, she helped commission a stained glass window for one of the Care of the Elderly wards.
The window used images from the history of St Mary’s, incorporating the Fleur de Lys, St Mary’s Penny and Fleming’s petri dish. The central image was based on a photograph of horses on the ramps of the Mint Wing when it was a multi-storey stable block for Paddington station. The window also shows the canal at Little Venice and a modern train heading towards Paddington. The artist was Stoney Parsons.
Outside work Jill loved to travel and went all over the world. She was also a fan of ballet and dance.
Jill will be remembered for her commitment to Paddington and her infectious energy and resolve. We hope she will continue to be an inspiration to others, encouraging positive environmental and cultural change in the area.