Tributes to one of the first Indian women to live in Leamington

Shakuntla Kapoor.
Shakuntla Kapoor.

Tributes have been paid to one of the first Indian women to live in Leamington.

While offering their condolences to her family, older members of the Hindu and Sikh communities have said that Shakuntla Kapoor could have been the first Indian woman to live in the town.

She died last week, aged 80, and her family have said she will be will fondly remembered by the communities.

Her son Neville said: “My mum, dad Prem Nath Kapoor and my sister Pamela are believed to be the first Indian family in Leamington with my mum being, we believe, the first Indian lady in the town.

“My father came to England in 1950 with my mum followed in early 1955.

At that time they lived in Coventry and then Nuneaton before moving to Leamington with Pamela in December 1955.

“At some point they bought a two-up, two-down house in Union Walk.

“In 1967 they moved into Lee Road as the Union Walk house was condemned as it had no bathroom and the toilet was outside.

“The area is now the car park behind Frettons motorcycle shop.”

Neville was the first of three sons which Mrs Kapoor gave birth to between 1957 and 1961 meaning that by the age of 25 she had four children.

Neville said: “My first recollection of my mum working was in the 1960s at Warwick Hospital and then King Edward VII Memorial Chest Hospital in Hatton as a domestic.

For some reason people called her Pauline - I’m not sure why but it that may be because her forename was too difficult to pronounce.”

Mrs Kapoor would cycle to work until she passed her driving test in the 1980s.

There were very few Indian women of her age driving in those days and she only handed her licence back five years ago.

Neville said: “With our dad passing away at a young age, mum, being in her early 50s, became an independent lady living alone until last year when Pamela devoted her time and love to care for her until she died.

“Mum had fought some serious illnesses over the past couple of years which in the end became too much for her.

“She will be sorely missed by many people including those from the Indian community who have known her for nearly 60 years.”

Mrs Kapoor’s Funeral will take place next week.

For more details call 07825 431379.