Many of those reading this will remember Hilda, who died recently at the age of 87.
She had shown great artistic promise at a young age and went to theSlade School of Art where she met the love of her life, Hughie Gibson. Neither family would agree to the match so they eloped to Dartingtonand married there. In the late 1950s, they lived in a caravan in Chertsey and Hilda was a glamorous model, sculptor, artist andmusician. They were members of the Thames Valley Morris Men (Hughie became the Fool), and Hilda led the Pyrford Folk Band. She was aregular ca mper with the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry where she playedand sang. She had a wide repertoire of songs - many of an earthy nature!
Hilda's work was sought after making bronze models large and small,and she designed the original nodding dog (seen in the back windows ofcars) and the first jiffy lemon.
They moved to Somerset in 1975, where Hilda was a care assitant for 25 years at Sandhill Park Hospital, dearly loved by those in her care.
As a musician she played Anglo and English concertina, as well as accordian, and could switch easily from one to the other, and she tutored the Anglo for WCCP. She had known Scan Tester well and played in a similar style.
Some of you may remember the portative organ (see picture) made out of pieces of wood from the beach which Hughie cut to shape adding extra notes as the wood became available.
Members of Thames Valley Morris danced Shepherds' Hey at the funeral, as they had done for Hughie 2004.
We all have our memories of this wonderful, talented, joyous and perhaps eccentric lady, who on camping weekends took her pet cockerel in the back of the van rather than leave it at home. Hilda never stopped singing, playing painting and sculpting to the end.
Andrew Stevens (22-Mar-2018)