Janet Jack (1934 – 2016)
I met Janet working on the Alexandra Road Park project and putting a RIBA talk together last summer when she was already very ill but determined to set this aside and dedicate herself to this ‘little project’. I loved our exchanges. 
I was always struck by how Janet started practising when her profession rarely existed, collaborating with architects so unaccustomed to the idea of collaborating with landscape architects, working in a man’s world, quietly asserting her place, innovating and contributing so much - after all Alexandra Road Park was the first 20th century landscape to be listed - without feeling the need to make a big fuss about it. A good dose of humour and an ability to chuckle about architects’ vanities (rather than getting worked up about them) seemed to help - at least decades later when I met her. 
As for Alexandra Road Park she still had a passionate interest now to see how the park developed through time and use. She took great pleasure from seeing people enjoy the park, recollecting watching a family equipped with ladders harvesting cherries, or noting informal paths being created through the bushes by playing children (just as she had hoped). 
I admired how Janet stayed young, interested in new ideas, landscape and place making debate. She was keen for the park to be modernised where it needed to be (for example the playgrounds) and openly acknowledged so without vanity, wholeheartedly supporting us all the way through (the play debate at the time was altogether non existent and her brief very limiting). 
I think the recent refurbishment of the park meant a lot to her. Thank you to the residents to make that happen in time for her to see the park restored, future proofed and so loved! 
Her work will carry on bringing so much pleasure to people. What a gift to leave behind!

With love
Susanne