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Memories of St Margaret's - Three Courageous Ladies

(Nurse) Winifred Bailey
This wonderful placid-natured person gave her life to her family, to the Church and to the Parish. Trained as a nurse and health visitor, she went about the parish in a quiet, unassuming way and was always there when someone was ill. In fact, if someone was taken into hospital, she would be the first ‘visitor’ whether it was visiting time or not, with a bunch of grapes, and would disappear quietly to visit her next patient elsewhere.

If the weather was suitable, she and her family would walk over the fields to Church and back as they lived in Great Bramingham Lane, otherwise she would travel everywhere on her bicycle until in later years when she had a car. She was the Church Secretary for about 40 years and meticulously wrote up the PCC Minutes in a hard-backed exercise book, until the Roger Wood era when the Minutes were typed up for her so they could be distributed to all PCC members.

She had a wonderful sense of humour and fun, and she was the ‘Mother Teresa’ of our Church. She never spoke ill of anyone and was always the first to try to reconcile any differences.

Kate Richardson
Together with her husband and epileptic son, Martin, they were strong stalwarts of our Church. Kate was very talented in many ways, and put these talents into good use for the Church. She and her husband had been members of the Luton ‘Top Hatters’, a theatrical group, so Kate was always keen for us to put on plays, which she would write and direct, and woe betide anyone who didn’t know their words (which was mostly all of us). For some years they ran the paper and general stores shop in Warden Hill. She would take shorthand notes at meetings, and write up the Minutes, and she and Martin would write and prepare the Church Service Sheets, do office work, and edit the magazine. Despite all the setbacks which Kate had to endure, and her own health was not good either, she always bounced back and gave a 100% commitment wherever possible.

Vera Thorne
This lady was a Churchwarden who did not take ‘No’ for an answer. She fought tooth and nail for anything which would enhance or improve the Church and bring it up to scratch. But she was not afraid of hard work to achieve her aims, because she was an adept cook and would produce cakes, pies, etc. for sale at a drop of a hat, and was always keen for us to have Flower Festivals, for which she was brilliant at organizing and flower arranging herself. An ardent member of the choir, she encouraged the choir to be built up and for Peter Freeman to come to our Church to play the organ. The rest is history.

These three ladies were perfect examples in their own separate and individual ways of what it meant to be an active Christian. They were all different, but they all worked together as one.

One particular memory of that time when a Flower Festival was organized with cakes for sale in the Churchyard. Along with many others, I was button-holed to make some cakes for the stall, which I duly did, displaying them effectively on a large tray, which I handed over as I went into the Church as I was spending the afternoon demonstrating the making of pillow-lace. Later I went outside to retrieve my tray to find that they had not only sold the cakes, but the tray too! Now that was taking things a tad too far. As a young mum with children I was not amused.

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