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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Sue Lowe Pic

Susan Lowe

Nantwich & Audlem group are very sad to announce the loss of a much-loved member.  Sue had been an NWR member since 1988 when she joined as a young mum living in South Cheshire with husband David and their three sons Oly, Tom and Ben.  They enjoyed a happy family life in a beautiful rural area and Sue was an active member of Nantwich & Audlem organising walks, treasure hunts and many other activities.  Once the boys had grown and fled the nest Sue and David travelled far and wide in their cosy motorhome, enjoying the wonderful experiences of many countries.  Sue was always interested in hearing about everyone else's travles too and loved to receive postcards, news and photos from around the world.

Sadly in 2014 Sue was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and during the past six years has received outstanding care, and several different lines of therapy, at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.  She lost the battle on 18th May 2020 which was a sad day for everyone who had ever known her.  NWR has lost a valued and lovely member, who attracted friends wherever she went.  She is sadly missed by so many and we at Nantwich & Audlem send out heartfelt love to David and her family.


Helen Mitchell 1949-2020

Park Gate NWR is sad to report the passing of long standing member Helen Mitchell, who had also been a member in Tring many years ago before moving to this area.  She was a funny, kind and lovely lady who gave so much of her time to others.  Even though disabled by many ailments her full and active life was a great inspiration.  Meetings just wont be the same without her.

Marie Catherine Moncaster

It is with great sadness that Poynton 3 NWR would like to announce the death of Marie Catherine Moncaster on 13th February 2020 aged 64.  She had only been a member of our group for a few years, moving here following the death of her husband to be near her children.  She immediately embraced Poynton life joining many activities.  Her indomitable faith helped her to cope with cancer, having an eye surgically removed and later secondaries.  Yet she always thought of others before herself and has left a huge void in people’s lives.  She won’t be forgotten.

Brenda Munday, 1928-2019

The Kilbarchan group is sad to report the death of 91-year old Brenda Munday, a long-standing member of the group.  Brenda served on the National Group for several years from 1993 and attended many conferences, the last time being at the Glasgow Conference when she met many old friends.

Catriona Daly 

Beith NWR is sad to report the death of our long standing member, Catriona Daly.

Catriona had been an Assistant Head Teacher in the local primary school, where she had taught for many years. She was a keen tennis and badminton player, giving much time to coaching children. Catriona was an enthusiastic NWR member, always keen to contribute by way of ideas, hospitality and enthusiasm and opinions. She was indeed a lively minded woman.

Anne Frith, 1940-2019

Anne, who died of cancer in July this year, had been a member of NWR and its predecessor the Housewives’ Register for more than forty years.

She was born in Shrewsbury, one of four sisters. Anne obtained a degree in History from Oxford University and a Diploma in Social Administration. After graduating she worked for the National Council of Social Services in London.

Anne married John in 1967 and they had three sons. They moved to Beccles in 1973. She had been diagnosed in early childhood with Retinitis Pigmentosa and her sight deteriorated until by the end of the Eighties she was totally blind. Despite this severe disability she was very involved in the community life of Beccles and took an active role in many organisations such as the Women’s Institute, Local History Society and Probus, where she was the programme secretary for many years.

She was the author of ten local history books, including “Daniel of Beccles”, a book of mediaeval manners. All proceeds from her books were donated to charities. She supported the Talking Newspaper for the Blind and Cancer Research and was instrumental with her husband and sons in raising money towards building Beccles Scout Hall.

For much of her life she was accompanied by a succession of five guide dogs, and they were familiar figures around the town. Lately she campaigned as a disabled person against the proposed ‘shared spaces’ traffic scheme.

Anne spoke French and German and had recently taken up re-studying Latin. She was well known and well respected in Beckles. Her full, active life and enthusiasm were a great inspiration to all. She is survived by her husband, two sons and four grandchildren.


Lyn Imeson

Lyn died on 27 March. She had belonged to NWR for well over 20 years and had a truly lively mind. She was the mainstay of Witney group in attending meetings, organising theatre trips, concerts, an annual carol concert at Christchurch, Oxford, and much more. She was THE best advocate for the Telephone Treasure Trail which she hosted most years as well as being a clue holder.

Self-effacing, Lyn had a brilliant mathematical mind, was interesting on many topics, much respected, had a wicked sense of humour and was very kind. New members were always made very welcome but never in a pushy way.

Lyn was very much a family person. In later years, she and her husband Eric took every opportunity to travel widely and had some terrific adventures. She died young and will be missed by more people than she could ever imagine.

Rest in Peace Lyn.

Rona Shellabear, 1930 -2019

Salisbury Group is sad to report the death of Rona, who was a founder member of NHR in the early 1960s. Rona was an enthusiastic NHR/NWR participant and attended almost every meeting and at least 33 annual conferences. She willingly took turns as LO, always came fully prepared with careful research and was not afraid to speak her mind firmly but sympathetically. As a lively minded mother of three she made the most of all the aims of the NWR.

Rona was closely involved as a hands-on member of Friends of the Earth and other environmental projects, and spent weekends at Greenham Common supporting the peace movement. Riding her bike until the age of 80, she continued to put her beliefs into practice.

Her lively mind and smiling presence will be much missed.

Evelyn Smith

Evelyn passed away on 24 January 2019.  She was a long-time and loyal member of the Dibden Purlieu Group. She will be very much missed by us all.

Beryl Thorndike

It has been said that life after death is how one lives on in the memories of those one has known. Beryl is certainly someone who will be remembered by many with affection.

She had extraordinary energy and a wide range of interests. She joined Stafford NWR in the early 70s, moving to Trentham in 1979 and Harrogate on retirement in 2002. In discussions she was an attentive listener, making pertinent contributions after careful consideration. She had strong convictions but was considerate of other peoples’ feelings.

Beryl had a great interest in languages and, after Aberystwyth University, she taught French and German in London, Stafford and finally in Stoke-on-Trent where she was head of French at St Joseph’s College, a job she loved. She cared greatly about her pupils’ well-being and success. In retirement, she was a secondary school volunteer mentor and, in her private life, she helped two children who had been through difficult times, having them to stay and introducing them to new activities and places. She found many new interests in retirement, including volunteering at the Harrogate Fair Trade shop, an important cause for her.

Like her husband Tony, Beryl loved travel, and retirement gave them the freedom to indulge this. This included some very demanding, even hair-raising drives. Some may remember Beryl’s account in the NWR magazine a few years ago of their 8,000-mile round trip to Senegal in an elderly estate car. More recently, they drove to Kyrgyzstan and took part in the Wacky Races trip through Albania’s Accursed Mountains.

Beryl also embraced Tony’s fascination with steam locomotives and their travel often involved train journeys in faraway places. In addition, they bought a flat in Picardy overlooking a level crossing and joined the local steam railway society, thus combining two pleasures — steam railways and friendships with French people.

Above all, however, Beryl loved her family. She was willing to drop everything to help her children and she was a caring and proud grandmother to her six grandchildren. She showed that same generosity to friends.

As well as being energetic and active, Beryl had a re-assuring serenity. She maintained this calm demeanour, facing illness with dignity and realism. Though we miss Beryl greatly, she will live on in our memories. It was a privilege to have known her.  

Beryl (left) on a trip to Mali. The Imam was happy that she was properly dressed for a visit to the mosque!

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