I SAW a TV documentary recently by Donal Macintyre about the June 6, 1991 murder of Penny Bell at Gurnell Leisure Centre in Greenford.

It was a murder I had never come across, even though I was working in Aylesbury at the time as a student nurse and my relatives lived in Uxbridge.

My late uncle was a laundry van deliverer and collector around Denham, the area in which Penny lived at the time.

Cilla Black was one of his customers, but whether he had Penny has a customer I will never know now. The whole case must have passed me by at the time.

It is so sad what happened to Penny and her demise seemed so brutal and savage in our so-called civilised society.

It is sad it has never been solved and that it occurred in such a public space as a leisure centre.

From what I gleaned from the TV documentary and articles and You Tube videos I have watched about the case, it seems Penny seemed to be a very giving person in society, with everything to live for.

She seemed to be in quite a lot of distress that day while driving her blue Jaguar XJS through Greenford at about 10 mph with her warning lights on, trying to park and at one point apparently mouthing ‘Help Me’ to a passing motorist.

Nobody helped her at all and it is probably a sad example of how uncaring our society can be, especially in our rush-rush-rush, devil-take-the-hindmost society, then and now.

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Let’s hope this COVID-19 outbreak changes things like that forever.

Since 1991, nobody has proposed a memorial for Penny in Greenford, especially at Gurnell Leisure Centre itself.

Well, I notice there are plans to develop the leisure centre from this summer and it’s the perfect opportunity for someone at Ealing Council or the leisure centre itself to name a particular area at the centre after Penny Bell.

It could be indoors or outdoors, a section of the centre itself, perhaps the planting of a tree or shrub in her memory.

Just a thought but a deserving one I feel. It would be a fitting gesture to someone who gave a lot to society over the years through her Samaritans work and as an important employer in the area.

Penny was someone’s daughter, mother and wife and she never chose the way she died.

Let’s hope one day the culprit or culprits who murdered this lady have a conscience and admit what occurred to the police after nearly 30 years of no justice for the family.


Walsall, W Midlands