Mrs Hilda James

OVER 160 people attended the funeral of Hilda May James at St Bartholomew's Church, Royal Wootton Bassett, on April 8.

Hilda was born in 1925 , near London, in an area which now accommodates Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. Later the family lived in the Oxford and Cheltenham areas and during the war Hilda worked in a munitions factory. She sang beautifully and broadcast on BBC national radio, as a soloist in the much-loved Workers' Playtime.

Hilda and her late husband Tom, who first met in Abingdon, were married and settled initially at Stanton Harcourt where all their children were born, before the family moved to Standlake.

In 1967 they came to the Wootton Bassett area. Hilda used to cycle from Bushton to work in the canteen at the former St Ivel factory at Station Road. The family later lived for 19 years at Downs View.

After being widowed in 2002, Hilda settled close to her brother and sister-in-law, at Lime Kiln, where they shared cooking and cleaning and spent 16 happy years.

Hilda was very creative and artistic. She always loved singing, and her hobbies included crocheting babies' shawls and bonnets. She also made a doll's cot, dolls clothes and rag dolls.

Hilda lived for her grandchildren, adding 20p pieces to a tin, all year, so that at Christmas there would be plenty to give to them.

The light of her life was her family including seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and her little great-great-grandchild.

Hilda's family and friends recall her reputation as "the best dressed lady in Wootton Bassett." She cared for her family and those around her, and until a couple of years ago she continued to cook big Sunday dinners for everyone to enjoy.

The Rev Oliver Blease said, "It is important to acknowledge the devoted, diligent work of Mears Care towards the end of Hilda’s life. You will all have many wonderful memories of Hilda, and I encourage you to continue to remember and to share them."

The service was followed by interment at Royal Wootton Bssett Cemetery. Afterwards, more reminiscences were shared over refreshments at the Conservative Club.