FLOWERS have been laid on Botley Road in tribute to the local icon known as 'Botley Bag Lady', who is reported to have died, aged 73

Shocked residents have spoken of their sadness about the death of Eleanor Boulton on social media, where tributes have poured in.

The full details of her funeral are not yet known, but an inquest is due to be held on November 1. 

However, it is understood her funeral is being delayed while authorities search for a next-of-kin.

And several readers have called the Oxford Mail to enquire about funeral details with a view to attending when it is held.   

The Oxford Times:

A Facebook page has been set up in her memory.

Labelled a 'true legend of Oxford', locals have been sharing their stories of the woman. 

Staff at Country Grains sandwich shop on Botley Road said Ms Boulton used to walk past and read the headlines of the papers in the shop window.

They said she spoke very well and thought she may have even been bilingual.

The Oxford Times:

Having watched her walk up and down Botley Road for some 30 years, owners Joe and Linda Devlin said: "She was a familiar face and it was never a surprise to see her.

"No one knew much about her, but everyone knew of her. It's sad to see how she ended up."

Over the road at Classique Unisex Hair Salon, Lisa Rowles said she had heard stories from clients over the years that Ms Boulton and her husband used to run an Oxfordshire school until her husband died.

She said that people living near Botley Road often found her in their sheds, but because she was such a well-known person they did not make her leave.

Ms Rowles added: "She was a chatty women who would not take from others.

"She was wonderful, living like that without help."

On Facebook, one woman recalled how Ms Boulton once helped her rescue a little bird, and described her as 'sweet and softly spoken'. 

Stacey Wiggins wrote: "I used to speak with her when I worked as a PCSO in Oxford, her outlook on life was there were people in the world with nothing so she needed nothing, she was a trooper especially when it snowed... nothing bothered her... RIP Eleanor."

Another said: "I've spoken to her a few times over the years and she was lovely. Obviously a bit potty but she was quite a switched on cookie.
Her absence had been noticed by a member of staff from Argos who I spoke to a while back."

Tributes also poured in on Twitter, where one person described her as 'one of Oxford's great eccentrics'.

Among the hundreds of comments there were snippets of insight into her life, with one local suspecting she had some medical knowledge: "Eleanor Boulton was a wonderful caring person. We live on the Botley Road and were constantly meeting her.

"When my wife told her I was seriously ill, each time they met she would ask after my health, when I met her she would have knowledge of my renal condition and would ask me if so and so had been administered giving me the inclination that she had worked in (the) medical field.
She would neve accept food or drink, preferring to scavenge from bins.
RIP Eleanor Boulton and you will take your secrets and stories to the grave."

What do you remember of Botley Bag Lady?

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Kathy Hampden notes how long she had been an institution in Oxford, writing: "I realise now how young she must have been when I first saw her on Botley Road decades ago. Very sad. RIP." 

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Ive spoken to elena for some years my mum as letters that elena had written to her sorry to hear of her passing away

contributed by community

Eleanor always remembered our names and our dogs as well. If she saw us on the other side of the Botley road, she would cross over disregarding the traffic. She read the Telegraph and did Sudoka puzzles. I wished I had been able to take a photo of her, sitting at the bus stop amidst her bags, legs crossed elegantly, reading a quality newspaper. I do hope she didn’t suffer at the end.

Eve Hoare

Have know this dear Lady for many years.She Used to pass by our Bungalow on Eynsham Rd years ago and we often chatted.As others have said she would never accept any drink or food directly. As time went on she only used to be seen on the main Botley road.I used to stop and have a little chat.She had a fantastic memory.So well spoken to. We will for sure all miss her.RIP Dear Friend.John .

John Walker

The Bag Lady was such a presence for all of those in Botley. Often seen reading her newspaper at bus shelters and benches. Beautifully spoken and so gentle. I once offered her half of my sandwich as I stood and waited for a bus, to which she declined. Instead she produced a banana skin from her pocket and ate it enthusiastically, telling me all the health benefits you can get from the peel and then wished me a good day. One of a kind.

Charlotte White

I spoke to this lady several times and even offered to take her for a cup of tea but she would not accept it. She seemed very intelligent. I feel she had a sad life but perhaps she would have said differently. May she RIP.

Patricia Agutter

I've know her many years and have helped over the years and have even had coffee food she welcomes me to her tin shed sit and hear the story's of her life being around meant alot to my heart the simple way of life on peace in life clearly didn't want anything she would clear up rubbish recycle every thing that could be rescue animals even point to making sure that others are well her health was not good she didn't want medical help refused it as wanted to sort it her self she always new plants ,flowers to eat or making Medicines that help her

Simon Bray