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Tributes to Preston’s ‘guerilla gardener’ Jam, who died on Sunday

Posted on - 25th August, 2020 - 1:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, University
Jam in his garden

Tributes have poured in to a popular Preston gardener who died on Sunday.

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Jam Imani Rad, 70, hit the headlines after spending more than £6,000 turning his garden in Harrington Street into a vibrant communal garden for his neighbours to enjoy.

Inside the property was adorned with mosaic tiles and colourful artwork, earning the home a spot on Channel 4’s ‘Britain’s Weirdest Council Houses.’

Jam’s garden Pic: Deborah Middleton

But in 2016 Jam, a retired teacher, was forced to leave his home after a row with the housing association Community Gateway, who said the colourful oasis posed a number of safety issues.

He moved to London in 2017 and lived in the capital until his death on Sunday night.

Read more: Eviction notice served on Jam and his garden

Those who knew Jam described him as “a beautiful soul” and “a free friend.”

In the weeks before his death, Jam posted a number of moving messages on Facebook, sharing his spiritual and philosophical journey.

Image: Facebook Jam Imani Rad

In a final Facebook post, Jam said: “So long my beautiful friends. The time has come for me. Life is beautiful but there is an end to everything.

“I love you all. My good friends, it’s time to go.

“Friends, if I had said before that life is sweet in any situation and you can find excuses for happiness….Love U all n goodbye.”

Jam’s home in Harrington Street Pic: Deborah Middleton

Jam, a vegan and artist, had friends of all ages and was known for his quirky and eccentric style.

Sahar Raie said: “The world needs ppl like you dear Jam. 

❤

“You are a star of our hearts.”

Read more: Latest news from Blog Preston

Lis Eccles said: “Such an inspiration to us all….Jam your words and personality and your wonderful art…never failed to communicate.”

Jam with his art Pic: Facebook

Deborah Middleton said: “Sometimes, amazing people come into your life and make a lasting impression. Jam, you are definitely one of those people. Bringing people together was your gift.

“You loved people and people loved you. Your energy and zest for life was contagious. Always positive, humble and kind yet strong and not afraid to stand up for what is right.

“As a very talented artist, you made your home bright, colourful and unique, a reflection of yourself.

“The world will definitely be much duller without you. You embraced the end of your life in true Jam style, with a party.

“We know if there is an afterlife, you will be hosting a party there too. We will miss you Jam, thanks for all the good you did in this world and for your friendship. You won’t be forgotten.”

Did you know Jam? Leave your tributes to him in the comments section.

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