Although she was born in Watford where she spent most of her early life, she moved to Shepperton during the war. She had two young children and a stepson of eight years old but worked in the local Sound City (now Shepperton Studios).

The two smallest children were taken to a Government nursery just off the High Street, then she cycled back to work from 8am to 6pm, packing bullets and shells for Vickers. In our garden she kept chickens, ducks and rabbits and grew many vegetables too, so we never seemed to go short of food. She had learnt to cook, sew and take care of housework during her time in a Catholic orphanage from the age of three to eleven.

Her aim in life was to improve her education by reading as much as she could. Her own particluar love was poetry and she could quote long passages from Shakespeare by heart. She was a rather plump lady with twinkling blue eyes and when she read to us and made up her own stories, we were transported to another world every evening at bedtime. Her thirst for knowledge was amazing and she passed this on to us. The energy she had was never-ending and after we started there, she was a active member of the PTA at Shepperton Green School (then known as The Council School). I remember her campaigning for a zebra crossing at the Bull crossroads and engaged many of the local councillors to help with that although it did not happen for many years after we had left that school.

The local ladies club – The Jolly Wives was also one of her activities and she was a founder member. The Pathe News came there one day and recorded their activities and this film can still be seen on the Internet. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s we always took part in The Shepperton Carnival which went from Littleton Recreation Ground to the land where Thamesmead school is now built, every summer. She made many costumes for us over the years as she was a dab hand at sewing, having worked at a mattress factory where she could get many off- cuts at a little cost. The plays she wrote were enacted by us and our friends to small audiences in our garage at the side of the house with an old blanket as stage curtains. We charged a penny a time and then sent this off to Dr Barnardos and were thrilled when we received thank you letters from them.

Her love of life meant we had a charmed and happy childhood even in those days of war and afterwards when everything was in such short supply, nothing ever stopped her enthusiasm.

She loved Shepperton and everything about it and was a true Old Sheppertonian.

Mary Archer