Lifelong campaigner and founder of the Kingston upon Thames Society Sylvia Blanc has died aged 90.

Her funeral was held at Randalls Park Crematorium in Leatherhead on November 6, in front of a large congregation.

Mrs Blanc and a group of like-minded people, including her husband Alan, established the society in 1961 in opposition to a ring-road that would have severed the town from the river.

The relief road plan was abandoned and the society was soon ready to take up other battles on behalf of the townscape, in which Sylvia played an active and passionate part.

Anthony Evans, the present Kingston Society chairman, said at the funeral: “Were it not for people like Sylvia and Alan Blanc our town centre might have looked very different from how it does today.

“Sylvia’s contribution to the development of the borough and the value placed upon it should never be underestimated.”

He described Mrs Blanc as “one of the kindest and most dedicated people you could wish to meet” at the funeral, complemented by affectionate tributes from her two sons and four grandchildren.

During her 50-year association with the Kingston Society, Mrs Blanc at one time or another filled most of its executive posts, ¬ including a marathon performance as secretary for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998.

She found time for numerous other borough activities, such as organising a visit to Kingston’s twin town of Delft and stewarding at the newly established Rose Theatre, of which she was one of the earliest supporters.

Her services to Kingston received public recognition in 2014 with a Mayor’s Community Award, conferred for outstanding service in the voluntary sector.

Michael Davison, a vice-president of the society, said the size of the congregation at her funeral reflected the huge respect in which she was held by the community, for her lifetime of campaigning for the preservation and enhancement of the borough.