Tell us your origin story: where are you from and what made you the person you are today?
I grew up in East Anglia, in Ipswich and Norwich and am the second of four children – there is a big age gap between me and my 2 younger siblings so I had a lot of practise helping my Mum look after them. Then, at 17 I went to train as a Nursery Nurse in a Children’s Residential Home in Surrey run by the London Borough of Wandsworth. This was in the mid 1960s before the pill and legal abortion. The babies and children we looked after were from 10 days to 7 years old who, for one reason or another, needed or had to go into ‘care’. The need for these Homes has long since disappeared – thank goodness – but it was a good Home and we nourished and loved the children in our care. As a child, school was difficult for me as it was not until I was an adult that I was diagnosed with dyslexia – the word hadn’t been invented when I was growing up and it was a huge revelation to me when I was told it was a ‘condition’!!
We moved to Cambridge in 1972 as my husband Peter got a job at the University Computer Lab…. I’ve been married to the same man for 48 years and still love him!!! We have 2 daughters, a 7 year old granddaughter and a 16 month old grandson who are both adorable.
How long have you been a Cambridge Ladybird and what brought you here?
Joined the Ladybirds in the early days – I think about the 3rd meeting. I got interested in the WI because I did ‘props’ for a production of ‘Calendar Girls’ and it opened my eyes as to all the different things the WI do and the support they give one another.
What does being in the WI mean to you?
I just feel so lucky to have meet all you lovely, lively, caring, accomplished and supportive young women…oh, and I enjoy the serious meetings too.
What’s a typical day in your life lately?
I’m retired so mostly don’t have to get up early these days – what joy…but between my 94 year old Mum who lives with us a lot of the time (she is shared around the family!) and grand-parent duties, I volunteer as a driver for the Arthur Rank Hospice (ARH) two days a week and am a member of a ‘back stage’ group and do ‘props’ for amateur dramatics which requires a lot of research finding and making items.
Someone gives you a million pounds to spend on yourself. You can’t give it to charity or spend it on friends or family; it all has to be for you. What do you do with it?
Think I’d buy a painting with some of it – perhaps a Georgia O’Keeffe and I’d buy some mixed deciduous woodland in East Anglia…if there was anything left I’d do a bit of travelling.
What are your most passionate community or activist goals?
I am a passionate supporter of the ARH and help them out where I can. The Hospice is run as a charitable trust and as such relies on the community to raise funds and fulfil many essential roles within the organisation.
In a thousand years when future generations unearth your tomb, what are the wise words you have left behind to inspire them?
A quote from Mahatma Gandhi:- Live simply, so others may simply live.
Aliens land on earth and ask you what human life is all about. What do you tell them?
The answer is 42! And the female of the species is more deadly than the male!!
Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?
Chocolate – every time.
Cake, pie, or biscuits?
Cake – favourite is moist carrot cake.
Thank you Kate for being one of our long valued members!
Kate, Aug 2017
Our August member of the month is Kate!