Marjorie Humphreys: a tribute
By Jill Carleton-Smith
Marjorie was born in Hyde Heath; she moved to Chesham as a child and attended the White Hill School. When she left school she went to work for the food rationing office in Blucher Street, Chesham. At this time Marjorie formed some lasting friendships that endured for the rest of their lives: Iris, who still lives in Chesham, Joan Pearce, now in Poundbury, and Joyce Adams, who sadly died last year.
It was while she was working there that she met Audley; they married in 1947 when Marjorie was 19. They started their married life in Pond Cottage, Lee Common. Not long afterwards with the help and support of Arthur Stewart-Liberty they managed to buy and gain planning permission on a piece of land in the village and subsequently built High Tor at Sly Corner. This was where Marjorie developed her skills as a builder’s mate, working with Audley at evenings and weekends.
Marjorie soon turned this beautiful house into a family home with the birth of Stephen, followed by Nicholas, Jill and Anne over the next 10 years. In addition to the children there were also the animals: cocker spaniels, geese and pigs, all of which at some time made a break for freedom, with Marjorie having to round them up in Ballinger Bottom.
After two further moves within the village Marjorie and Audley ended their days at Princes Barn. As with all their homes Marjorie enjoyed planning and creating the garden, her love of flowers and gardening evident to all.
Marjorie was an active member of Great Missenden Flower Club and Ballinger Horticultural Society and her talents with flowers were put to great use in the local churches for flower festivals. She had a great belief in the local community and over the years supported the Youth Club, churches and W.I. (Ballinger and The Lee). She was a committee member of the Darby and Joan Club and provided her home and garden for many social events. Many will remember the delightful evenings such as the summer balls in this beautiful setting.
A very social lady, she spent many happy hours playing bridge with close friends, enjoying a glass of wine and chatting over the events of the day. She will be greatly missed by all of us but especially by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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A friend’s farewell
The following is an extract from the address given at Marjorie’s funeral by John Glanfield:
With Audley’s valorous soldiering done, Marjorie and he started their hard-working life together. Then she gave him Stephen, Nick, Jill and Anne. What we see and admire is a loving family, united: the Humphreys are in many ways central, synonymous I think, with The Lee. In Marjorie herself there was much virtue: the warmth – her heart never on the sleeve but seen in so many ways. Always quietly helping others. She hid her light under a bushel. Above all she was a great friend. On our coming to live here Marjorie and Audley were the first to welcome us and bring us in to the village community. It was always jolly: the ‘merry meetings’, the parties. Great hosts!
Often and sadly in life, when mother is no longer, families can scatter. Happily the family is together and a powerful force for good. Marjorie and Audley are now, we believe, happily reunited.
We celebrate the life of a gracious lady.
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