said at graveside
Now is the time to say goodbye to Frances.
Frances, who inspired us.
Frances, whose joy, dynamism and confidence were catching.
That Frances we hold in our hearts.
Her spirit is now released.
I feel her when I see a red kite swoop low.
May you remember Frances when you need a quiet word of love, of encouragement
and let her example be a light to encourage each other.
Frances was a dynamic achiever who cared passionately about politics, feminism and the environment. She had the amazing skill of motivating others into contributing to her causes through action. Above this though, she also had the ability to embrace and see the the positives in any individual, whatever their circumstances, alignment or background.
She was a leader but also my loving auntie, who always had time for you. I am forever grateful to Frances for inviting me to stay with them after hearing I was having problems with completing my dissertation for my MA at University at my dear Grandmas funeral. Eric was put to work with his technical writing skills to translate my mountain of thoughts and research into concise text. Needless to say, they saved the day and scored over 80%! I will miss you Frances.
Friend & neighbour
In 1969 when Eric, Frances, Louise and Philip moved into 3 Mayhew Crescent, High Wycombe as our new next door neighbours, they were an extension of our family. Frances was always there as support when I needed it, help when I asked and more. When I had children a few years later she was there often in her kitchen across the dividing fence and would take our daughter over and have her sitting with her showing her how to bake.
We were active in National Housewives Register, did WEA courses in her lounge and when there were keep fit classes up at the church where she organised some of her students to come along and learn about looking after children by running a crèche in the crypt while we exercised upstairs. Saving the nurseries was a major thing with marches and visits to council offices. Om International Women’s Year in 1975, our NHR branch raised money and commissioned portraits of famous women which were hung in The Alder Valley Bus Station, High Wycombe (editor: drawn by Judy Kemp, Frances’ sister).
There was her love of politics and somehow she managed to get me involved with leaflet distribution. I moved and they moved and in 1984 Women Welcome Women came about which was run from their lovely house where I was often asked to pop along to help collate and staple, write envelopes or just make some tea.
As member numbers grew and her wonderful volunteer left for pastures new, Elizabeth and I were asked to job share in the bedroom/office which we did for quite a while. Eric kindly bringing refreshments at times. We eventually moved into the attic office in Easton Street where we enjoyed greeting visiting members and many came to help with newsletters.
In December 1998 I moved to Havant in Hampshire so had to leave and Caroline was there and still is looking after us all. I was so honoured when invited to be a Trustee and so enjoyed still being involved until I retired 5 years ago.
I did attend the anniversary in High Wycombe last year and had planned a visit in April this year to celebrate my 80th with friends, unfortunately lock down did not allow so plans were to visit next April which I still hope to do but Frances will not be there. I will always miss her as she has been a big part of my life. My daughter still refers to her as Auntie Frances which says a lot.