OBITUARY: Ann Wayne

Ann Wayne

Ann Wayne

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The funeral of Ann Catherine Wayne was held at Alford Crematorium on Tuesday February 11 2014 followed by a Thanksgiving service at St Mary’s Church, Horncastle. Funeral arrangements were by Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral Services. A total of £606.73 was raised and is to be divided between St Mary’s Church and Marie Curie.

Eulogy: Its a horrid horrid day. This line penned by Ann for the first Horncastle Pantomime will go on being a lasting memory of this fine lady. It has weaved its way into every pantomime produced by the Horncastle Theatre Company and when other people have written scripts, it has been an unwritten rule that the line appears and is usually greeted by a roar of applause at the read through. It certainly was in the latest Aladdin which was staged over the last two weeks and dedicated to the memory of Ann. Ann was born in Golders Green London during the early years of the war. She was a grand daughter of an ex-Indian Army Padre and county parson and great grand daughter of an Army General. The war separated her parents, Ann’s mother Sheila worked for Pearl and Dean the advertising agency so she was looked after by her eccentric Irish Gran and much loved grandfather who taught her to read at the age of four. After the war Ann’s mother remarried when Ann was 12 and went on to have four more children. The family moved to Canada leaving Ann and Gran to follow on the Queen Mary, journeying via Bermuda and New York. The Canadian venture didn’t work so Ann and Gran were sent back ahead to live in digs in Salisbury so she could resume her education. Ann studied classics to Scholarship Level but rather than University she entered repertory theatre at Salisbury first as a student and then Assistant Stage Manager. On stage she worked with names such as Timothy West, Leonard Rossiter, Jo Tewson and Valentine Dyall as well as most of the cast of Crossroads. She proudly talked about being in Panto wearing long white boots and plenty of glitter with a team of Shetland ponies and on other occasion with a baby elephant. Eventually she found her niche in theatre, designing and making costumes. Rep theatre took her to London, Kidderminster and eventually Cheltenham. Back in London married with a small daughter she took what jobs she could including working on the costumes for the West End production of Fiddler on the Roof. More mundanely she worked for the tailors Gieves and Hawkes almost exclusively repairing Harrow schoolboys uniforms.

With the failure of that marriage she was determined to get out of London and in the company of her father she bought a farm house in the least expensive part of England - Lincolnshire or to be precise Dogdyke. Sadly in this remote spot jobs were few and far between so she took what she could get – vegetable picking in the Lincolnshire winter!. Less well paid but warmer were jobs in retirement homes in Woodhall Spa. By shear determination she refurbished the house alone but it was hard work for a Southern educated lass in that isolated spot and dreamed of rural idyll it wasn’t. At that point she met Bob a single parent still traumatised by the sudden breakdown of his marriage, bringing up Helen and Jeremy, similar age to Lisa. Bob’s youngest daughter, Isabel also spent periods with them and Isabel always remembers never going to sleep without a bedtime story from Ann. Together they came together with a shared determination to support each other and create the best possible family unit for their children. They became an almost perfect team. The desire to make a home that belonged to the whole of the new family brought them to Horncastle where they found and bought the Lunn and Dobson’s warehouse that stood abandoned for over 10 years. Together they produced plans for a radical conversion and the whole family set to work. Ann laid bricks , replaced windows and decorated the interior single handed. Ann claimed that, before she married Bob she had lived in 39 different homes so it is no wonder she loved the house so much and never wanted to leave it. The move to the centre of Horncastle not only relieved them of running children around in the evenings but rapidly drew them into the community particularly St Mary’s Church, This was at the start of a major project the re-roofing of the Chancel which required a great deal of fund raising. Let’s do a panto, said Ann. A cast was assembles from the congregation with a bit of outside help – Babes in the Wood.

The promised script didn’t appear so they set about writing their own, Ann made the costumes. The show was a massive success not only in the money it raised but in the fun the cast including Revd Geoff Neal had and in the way the profile of the church was raised. The exercise was repeated the following year sucking in more Theatre Company members until eventually it became a Theatre Company tradition starting in 1984. Ann who at first had been dubious about working with amateurs had at last found her ‘place in the sun’. From that moment on Horncastle Theatre Company became her first love. Acting, directing and of course making costumes. The Theatre Company took a knock when certain members left to set up their own company, the remaining members pulled together and far from being beaten, set about building their own theatre. Many people contributed but Ann was in the forefront as Company Chairman. She managed to persuade Patricia Hodge to become patron and set about various schemes to raise money. She was also very ‘hands on’ wheeling wheelbarrows, making the curtains and leading the massive task of refurbishing and covering the seats . She continued to care for those seats, a hard dirty job, almost up to her final days. Ann contributed greatly to the success of many productions. I remember with great fondness our production of ‘Outside Edge’ when Ann brilliantly played the downtrodden Miriam to my overpowering Roger, well I thought we made good couple. Ann enjoyed the challenge of character acting at which she excelled in such productions as ‘ Sailor Beware’ and her final performance at the theatre only last year was playing ‘Ma Peck’ in the play ‘ The Rose and Crown’ I know Ann was so please to be able to direct the very successful production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in May last year. Again true to form, she had many late nights sewing costumes. Ann also became a Horncastle Town Councillor brining a breath of fresh air to that august body. After the first meeting she was quietly taken to one side by one of the long serving male councillors who suggested that lady councillors ought not to attend council meetings wearing trousers, Ann’s response was predictable. Ann loved clothes and became a well known sight in the town riding her bicycle with long flowing skirts. In time she serves as Mayor three times, Chairman of the Estates Committee when new land was bought for allotments, chairman of the CCTV group, long serving member of the planning group. Her fierce loyalty and support to paid members of the council staff did not always make her popular with all other councillors. During this period she also served on the District Standard Committee striving to maintain a very high standard of conduct amongst elected representatives of the people. It wasn’t just a matter of appearing, she spent hours studying the law and pushing for better training. Less satisfying was her many years service on the Town flood committee sadly yet to bear fruit. The early years of their marriage brought her great happiness, after a honeymoon in Israel relatively soon after the Six Days War family holidays followed , exploring with their caravan, camping in France. When the children grew up Bob and Ann set off on a series of adventures, sailing in Turkey, touring Brittany, visiting the classical sites in Italy, Petra in Jorda, the pyramids in Egypt and many other sites. Their most popular destination was always Greec, a cheap flight, a hire car and stopping where they found rooms to hire. Very often driving together the conversation would start, ‘why don’t we ?’ The pantos, the twinning with Bonnetable, the Town tidies, the Town Plan all started that way as did most improbably Ann’s tenure as Town Crier, the suggested candidate had cried off, “I’ll do it” said Ann and made her own costume. The job involved opening fetes and attending national Crier’s events. The children grew up married and to her great joy there were grandchildren. Racing around the country in her 2CV cars she was always there in support. When Edward leukaemia aged 10 her life nearly collapsed but she rallied round with massive support.

Family Mourners and Close friends:

Bob Wayne ( husband); Lisa and Rob Bolt (daughter and son in law); Edward and Emma Rewse (grandchildren); Peter Jeffries (brother, Spain representing Jonathon Jeffries , brother France); Adam Jeffries (brother) and Helen, Sarah Livinstone (sister representing Rob); Tansy and Holly Livingstone (nieces); Helen and Terry Simms (step daughter and husband representing Mr and Mrs D Q Gurney); Jeremy Wayne (stepson representing Rebecca and Francis, NZ grandchildren and Isabel and Trevor Forrester, Tristan and Fred NZ stepdaughter, husband and grandsons); Lyn Stilgoe (sister in law and husband Anthonie); Ned Wayne (brother in law and wife Honor); Pam Wain (sister in law and husband Keith); William Wayne (brother in law and wife Jill); Tim Wayne (brother in law and wife Diana); Sue Mumford (sister in law and husband Jamie); Alice and Rachel Mumford (nieces); Ann Stiles, Bob Lightsey, Neville Edwards.

Other mourners: Tony Gurney (representing Brice Baker/RNT); Matthew Wilkinson (representing Horncastle Town Council); Joanne Cousins (representing Julian Cousin & the Getaway Club and Clarence House); Gerry Molsom (representing Horncastle and Bonnetable Twinnings Association); R. Barker, Wil Hawkes, Nancy Byrne (representing the Byrne family); Michael & Tricia Paige, Peter Harness (representing Debbie Harness); Becky Bradley (representing Theatre); Ken Vine, Trevor Butterworth MBE (representing Mr & Mrs Butterworth , Horncastle Mens Probus club and the Rotary Club of Woodhall Spa); Angela Kisby, Joyce Ogle (representing Jane Ogle & Joe Ritjakis); Pam Crisp Beard (representing Maria); Phil Spray, R. David Dean (representing Horncastle & District Community Centre); David & Dorothy Platt, Gail & Chris Hinkins, Carole Marshall (representing St Mary’s Church); Michael & Marilyn, The Manor House, Gillian Mauger (representing Horncastle Town Council); Cllr Mrs Lynda Baker (representing Horncastle Town Council); Karen Lane & Mark Carter, Neil Carter (representing Shelagh Carter); John Bush, David Bennett, Adele Simpson, Keith & Maureen Baguley (representing Claire & Richard); Barrie & Vickie Haynes (representing Coningsby & Tattershall Lions Club); Pat Phillips (representing Michael Phillips and Coningsby & Tattershall Lions Club); Peter Glanfield (representing Graham Turner); Jean & Bill Winckworth, Stefan & Lynn Urbanowicz, Mr & Mrs. C. Whybrow, Moira Love & Paul Tunmore (representing Shirley Moffat); Tony Clark (representing Annie); Ruth Bell (representing Alison, Pauline & Robert Bell and Ken Wilson); F. J. Roe (representing Mrs. L. Roe); William Fitzaden-Gray (representing family); Donald Ford, Mr & Mrs. G. Silverton (representing Horncastle Civic Society); Cllr Bill, Aron, Jane Johnston, Len Kate McAllister, John Elliott (representing Karen Elliott); Mary Elliott , Paul Scott (representing Patricia & Natalie); Barbara Tempest, Mr & Mrs. D. Ashton, David & Angela Birchall, Mr & Mrs. T. Scholey, David & Jennifer Lawrence, Graham & Fiona Martin, Andrew & Sue Tuxworth, Richard & Janice Locke-Wheaton, Stefan & Margaret Erentraut (representing Horncastle & Woodhall Spa Lions Club); Clare Crick, David & Wendy Ireland (representing Colleen Head); Gwyn Williams, Vicki Head (representing Emily Head, Samuel Head & Hazel Crook); Harriet Head, Brian & Priscilla Burbridge (representing Wendy Clamp); Penny Holland (representing Horncastle Theatre Company); Thomas Peckham, Malcolm & Janet Padley, Alastair Ramsey (representing Horncastle Theatre, The Getaway Club and the Ramsey family); The Spencer Family (representing Joan, Ken & Tracey Spencer); J. Goodacre & Richard Darren (representing Mrs. E. Richardson); Kim & Hannah Birchall & Holly O’Neill, John & Penny Russell, Peter Houldershaw (representing Carol); Ellen Richardson (representing James Forrester -Douglas’s grandson & David Mitchell formerly the Manor House); Sally Bruce-Gandyne, Charles King (representing Angela King); John Parkin (representing St Mary’s Church).