Edith Wilson: a friend to many

Many Congresbury villagers were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Edith Wilson, at the age of 82, after only a short illness.

Despite her small stature, Edith was a vibrant and engaging personality, involved in many aspects of village life, always ready to volunteer when help was requested, and a loyal and caring friend.

Born in Glasgow, where Edith was educated, she went on to graduate in English Literature at Glasgow University, followed by a secretarial course at the Commercial College.

Her first job was in the newly-formed BBC Scotland Sports Outside Broadcasts department.

She met her husband George through a family contact, when he was an engineer in the Merchant Navy, and they married in 1959 at Cathcart Old Parish Church, in Glasgow.

Leaving the navy in 1963, George’s work took them to Kent, then Aldershot, Farnborough and Cambridge.It was while in Farnborough their daughters were born, Margaret in 1964 and Alison in 1965.

The family arrived in Congresbury in 1967, and their initial short stay with John & Mary Walters at Lyndhurst, brought them into contact with Congresbury Methodist church, which was to prove a major factor in Edith’s life.

The family arrived in the village at the same time as Ian and Norma Penny, with whom they were friends, and another Scottish couple, which triggered a veteran Methodist to express concern at the invasion of the Scots into his church.

A bungalow in Silverstone Way became the family home, with both girls attending St. Andrew’s school, and Edith teaching in the Sunday School at the Methodist church.

In 1971 Edith set up the Congresbury Methodist Pre-school Playgroup, which she continued until 1985. She was involved with the Ladies Friendly Circle for the rest of her life, as a member, secretary, treasurer and chairman. Edith was a constant helper at the 0ver-90s’ coffee morning.

From 1985 until 2003, she worked for Yatton solicitors, at first Pepperell, Pitt & Aylett , later Moore, Murray and Co.

Edith loved living in Congresbury and in particular the people she met through all her different work and social activities. Friend to young and old, age and distance were no barrier to her friendships. She belonged to Congresbury History Group and the Evening W.I. and was a consistent supporter at all village events, particularly Love Congresbury and the village fete.

Her husband was involved in the Congresbury Theatre & Arts Group, later Congresbury Singers and Edith continued to support the choir.

In the words of one villager ‘She will be greatly missed, but so gratefully remembered.’

Edith leaves two daughters and three granddaughters, and her first great grandchild is expected next March.

After a private cremation, a Thanksgiving service will be held at Congresbury Methodist church on Friday, November 17 at 12 noon.

Marion Johnson