Dave Sharman
Dave Sharman campaigning in 2010

Tributes have been paid to Dave Sharman, the co-founder of the Greenwich Green Party, who died last week aged 83.

A devoted Quaker, Sharman co-founded the Greenwich branch of the party with colleague Philip Connolly in 1994. Until 2014 he regularly stood in council elections, including the 2010 election where he was joined by 853 site editor Darryl Chamberlain in standing for Peninsula ward.

He had been living with dementia, and spent the last year of his life in a care home in Lewes, East Sussex. Before that he lived in Charlton.

In a tribute on the Greenwich Green Party website, Connolly called him “a man who joined things”, citing his involvement with groups including the Woodlands Farm Trust in Shooters Hill and the management board of Mycenae House in Blackheath.

“To all he brought his quiet determination and his obvious commitment, but also his gift for achieving consensus and unity of purpose,” he said.

“He showed us how to live in the community.”

We are very sad to announce that Dave Sharman, one of the founder members of Greenwich Green Party (and Lewisham Green Party before that), died early on Tuesday morning.
This is his profile from the 2010 local election.
May he rest in peace 💚
@LonGreenParty @lewgreenparty pic.twitter.com/xA1GGgMydg

— Greenwich Greens (@GreenGreenwich) May 1, 2020

Chamberlain said that Sharman’s leafleting for the Greens helped spark a desire to do more in the community which, ultimately, led to 853 becoming a website about SE London issues.

“I used to get Dave’s Green newsletters through the door at a time when I was considering voluntary redundancy and wanted to do more locally,” he said. “I thought the Greens could do with a bit of help with their publicity, so signed up and ended up being a candidate in Peninsula ward in 2010. We had very different approaches – consensus was very important to him, while I wanted to be more confrontational – but it was a fascinating and valuable experience.

“That election campaign led to me taking a much closer interest in what the council did, and the realisation that very little of it was making the news. It’s a long time since I was involved with the party, but without Dave pounding the streets of Charlton for the Greens, you might not be reading 853 now.

“He was an incredibly kind and patient man, and I’m very grateful to have known him.”

Two of Sharman’s Labour opponents in council elections also paid tribute. Mary Mills, who represented Peninsula ward until 2014, said on social media that she had “many memories of organisations we both worked on and [there were] many, many other good things about him”.

Gary Parker, the current Charlton councillor who Sharman stood against in 2006, said: “He was a very principled and compassionate person, who genuinely cared for the community and the planet. He will be sadly missed.”