Eileen has been a regular volunteer at our Family History Centre for some considerable time. An experienced family historian she had fascinating stories to tell about her ancestor at the Crimea and another on the Oregon Trail. She did things ‘by the old school’ methods and laughed at the mention of the word ‘computer’. It would have amused her greatly, had she known, that she would be the subject of a ‘blog’. It is hard to talk of Eileen in the past tense as she was so much a part of the camaraderie that we all enjoyed on a Friday morning. We would have talks together about family related topics most weeks in which Eileen would participate with gusto as she always had some experience or another to recall to add to the relevance of our discussions. She brought in ‘mystery items’ to challenge us, old postcards and maps she had come across and was always there with an appropriate addition whatever the topic. She had many other interests and talents, of which we were dimly aware, but it was her amazing capacity to keep on being interested and interesting which is the lasting impression she has left with those of us who worked so closely with her of late.
She was indomitable in what she took on and was planning to decorate one of the trees in the forthcoming Christmas display in the Cheap Street Church in Sherborne – on a theme of ‘Family History’ and which we now aim to complete in her memory.
One of her fellow volunteers said when she heard the sad news: ‘Eileen was a lovely, kind lady and her family will miss her dreadfully. Every other Friday won’t be the same without her… her funny anecdotes, her deep knowledge of her family and her farming area, her cakes and biscuits but most of all her presence and cheery personality.’
Farewell Eileen – we will miss you.