She was born as Sylvia Sara Cole and her birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1927 in the Willesden registration district. In 1953 she married Alan John Blanc (1929-1995) in Marylebone and electoral registers until 1957 show them living at Flat 1, 75 Parliament Hill, Hampstead. They moved in 1958 to Henley Drive, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey and telephone directories from 1964 show them listed as Alan & Sylvia Blanc, Chartered Architects, 19 Henley Drive, Kingston upon Thames.
Together they were founder members of the Kingston upon Thames Society, established in 1961 in opposition to a ring-road that would have severed the town from the River Thames. Once the relief road scheme was abandoned the society was soon ready to take up other battles on behalf of the townscape, in which Sylvia played an active and passionate part. During her 50-year association with the Kingston Society, she at one time or another filled most of its executive posts, - including a marathon performance as secretary for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998. She found time for numerous other borough activities, such as organising a visit to Kingston’s twin town of Delft, The Netherlands, and stewarding at the newly established Rose Theatre in High Street, Kingston upon Thames, of which she was one of the earliest supporters. Her services to Kingston received public recognition in 2014 with a Mayor’s Community Award, conferred for outstanding service in the voluntary sector.
Her husband had a lifetime's obsession with stairs and steps and provided a definitive reference source that bridges the aesthetic and practical aspects of staircase design. It was called Stairs, Steps and Ramps and she worked with him on this. The first edition was published by Butterworths in 1996, a year after he had died on 23 May 1995.
She died, aged 90 years, on 26 October 2017 in Kingston upon Thames, her funeral taking place at Randalls Park Cemetery, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, KT22 0AG on 6 November 2017.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan