Len Saunders (7 December 1951-30 July 2017)

Len Saunders aka Len Banana

A tribute statement on behalf of Lucem House Community Cinema Plus+

Len has had a close and personal relationship with Lucem House Community Cinema Plus+ since 2015. Apart from enriching the film nights with his theatrical, poetic and musical performances, Len was the first friendly person people met when they visited the cinema.

Len has helped to build the super-large screen that graces the stage, has installed seating, helped to refurbish the kitchen and generally took care of the premises. He helped to make Lucem House a safe and happy venue for volunteers and visitors alike.

Len was a kind, generous and gentle soul, we all loved him dearly. On behalf of myself and all his fellow volunteers we are devastated at his loss. His contribution and presence at the cinema will be keenly missed. Our thoughts are with his beloved family at this time.

We will keep you all informed about commemorative and celebration of life arrangements as and when events are announced by the family. Your support and messages of condolences are much appreciated by Len’s family, please add your messages to our special tribute page that we have set up for the purpose.
Ann Shacklady-Smith, Founder and Director, Lucem House Community Cinema Plus+

Funeral arrangements
Len’s funeral will take place on Friday 1 September, 11am, at St Mary’s Lowe House, North Road, St Helens, followed by burial at St Helens Cemetery.
There will be an informal gathering at nearby Lowe House Parish Hall, Crab Street, from noon until 3pm, where refreshments will be served. Len’s relatives invite friends to come along to share memories of Len and pay tribute to a true gentleman who touched the lives of so many.
Len’s family ask those attending to wear something yellow (an item of clothing or an accessory) in honour of the man known to many as ‘Len Banana’.
Donations (rather than floral tributes) are invited either on the day, or via the justgiving.com charity page set up by Len’s family in support of a cause dear to him: step-free access to the cinema.

22 thoughts on “Len Saunders (7 December 1951-30 July 2017)”

  1. Len, I’m holding in my hand one of your poems, Unbroken Men, written in May 2016. What shines through is the passion and enthusiasm you brought to everything you did and everyone you met. No one who ever met you will ever forget you.

  2. Len was a very dear friend of ours whom we met through voluntary conservation work, he was a warm and friendly person always upbeat and had a heart of gold. He was fun to be with, easy to laughter, kindly and welcoming to all who met him., Many happy times with him doing conservation work in places such as Haigh Hall in Wigan and Sidings Lane in Rainford and many more places inbetween. Buliding pathways, clearing rhodedendron, rivetting, hedgelaying, drystone walling, charcoal making, coppicing he taught us so many woodland skills with great enthusiasm, patience and many a giggle too Everything he did he did well.. We spent our last time with him a few weeks ago, a weekend up near Cartmel where another friend Mike, has a woodland. As usual he was cheery and such good compamy. We are shocked and saddened at the manner of his death and would like to pass on our condolences to his family. Lenny will never be forgotten and will be missed so much by us and many others. God rest your dear heart and soul Lenny,,you’ll always be in our hearts and minds. Ree Payne, Mell and Chris Payne. xxx I would appreicate if you would pass on my email address to his family should they want to get in touch. many photos and some videos of him they may treasure.

  3. Len brought people together with his warmth, kindness, humanity and his poetry. I learnt very much from him about all his different projects to make the world a better place. You will be sorely missed in St Helens Len. Rest in peace.

  4. I only knew Len for a couple of months, being a new volunteer but he welcomed me with a lovely smile and warm handshake. Always on the go and cheerful, he will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him. RIP Len,

  5. Len was a family friend for many years. I have also had opportunity to work with him at the Citadel and also in Victoria Park. He was a kind, thoughtful individual who would do anything to help anyone in need. His talent for poetry and performance were a surprising contrast to his normal quiet demenour. It is shocking to think his life has been cut short in this heinous way.

  6. Len was always so witty, helpful and fun. I looked forward to his poetry readings and he was always so observant of everyone’s needs without expecting anything back. He was always happy to help, especially when I needed another pair of hands with Ben’s pram up the Lucem House steps. Len’s aim was always to create a smile on the face of everyone he met. His presence, kindness and quirkiness will be greatly missed

  7. I knew you for a short time, but from others around me I see that you have positively touched many lives. That is the greatest tribute a person can have.

  8. Len, a true gentleman, honest and sincere. I will remember the warmth you showed my by our last handshake in mid July 2017. Take care

  9. I knew Len for a few short months, it took no time at all to appreciate his humanity which I shall really miss.

  10. Only met Len once but his enthusiasm for the cinema was infectious. The more I read about him it becomes apparent that he was a real pillar of the community. RIP Len.

  11. Lucem House wouldn’t be the place it is without Len. He believed in the project and put all his efforts towards making it a success. He was a warm, decent, honest,sincere and funny man who put 110% into everything he got involved in.
    We’ve lost one of the best. Compared to many I didn’t know him that long but he left a lasting impression and I will miss his kindness and patience.
    St Helens and all those people and projects he was involved with will be lost without him for a long time to come. RIP.

  12. I got to know Len when he was involved in taking aid out to a Romanian Orphanage. He was such a gentle, pleasant person, always ready to help others. I am so saddened that he met such an untimely end – Rest In Peace Len, you have earned your place in Heaven.

  13. I feel so very, very sad at the passing of such a genuinely good and true gentleman.
    I first met Len when we both studied at St Helens College and have worked with him on performances at both the college and at The Citadel. His help and encouragement to me as a novice performer was invaluable.
    Last time we met he invited me along to Lucem House. Forgive me Len, to my lasting regret, I never made it.
    Rest in peace my friend.
    Dave Goldsmith

  14. Our dearest Len, I remember those fun days of long ago with the St Helens Groundwork Trust, Wigan and District Volunteers, BTCV Liverpool and also the conservation weekends at Mike’s place in Haverswaite near to Cartmel. Most of all I remember and treasure memories of fun conservation times and the laughs we shared whist at the old chapel (Scarth Hill Road Mission Hall dwelling near to Ormskirk) on many Sundays just pottering around doing some conservation tasks and odd jobs (with the lovely Chris Forsyth who sadly passed away several years ago). Len you were my very best conservation friend and I miss you so very much. I remember all those days with much fondness just as if they were yesterday…….

  15. I heard a while ago Len earned the nickname “banana” when he tripped and fell at his first performance on stage. The name stuck. There was only one Len and he touched so many lives in and around St. Helens. I will miss the infectious wit from such a multi-talented gentle person.

  16. Len once told me that he was known as Len Banana because ‘I’m ‘old, yellow, bent and I hang out with a wild bunch.’ What a great bloke x. I’m appalled by what happened. Rich Bradshaw.

  17. I knew Len for many years, first by reputation as the great Len Banana and then had the great fortune of having him as one of my students at St Helens College. Once met Len became a fixture in my life, every time we met we would talk writing and performance. I was always amazed and impressed by his energy and enthusiasm for very thing he got involved with. I never once head him say a bad word about anyone him charm and patience will always shine through when I think of him. We all share the massive loss but he has left a fantastic legacy he was a great icon and beacon for all the is good about our home town he help me to stay proud of my roots and heritage. There are many other beautiful tributes to this great gentleman, it show just what a legacy he has left us with. I will always remember Len with a smile. My love and condolences go out to his family and close friends. Hers to you Len, see you on the flip side X

  18. I didn’t know you that well but your kindness to me was overwhelming,whenever I came to Lucem House,helping me up the steps and down.
    You were gentle and always polite.You will be sadly missed. My condolences to your family. R.I.P.

  19. Len was one of my best mates. We got up to a number of ‘escapades’ [‘Legit’], I must add! I saw him a couple of days before the attack – he planned to show me the expensive microphone he had picked at the ‘BootSale’.
    Len “got that microphone for a song!”

    Frank ‘Deccer’ Leyland.

  20. All who had the privilege to know Len will mourn his loss greatly, my most sincere condolences to Len’s family and loved ones.
    Len; a beautiful being disguised as a human, I applaud the joy you expressed in living life to the full.
    Your wit, kindness, loyalty and dedication to many creative interventions in St Helens is a legacy.
    I thank you on behalf of myself and the many students you supported during my time as programme leader for the Performing Arts Dept at St Helens College.
    Len Saunders- loved and missed in equal measure ♥♥♥
    I have some amazing images of Len live on stage in his guise as an actor…I would be pleased to share these with Len’s family.

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