Giving thanks for the life of one of Tansley's much beloved residents
Margaret Seymour was such a popular and involved member of our local community, it seems she was a member of almost all the local clubs, groups and activities.
We give thanks for her life among us and pray for her family and close friends in their loss.
Taken from her eulogy:
Margaret came into this world on February 10th 1927. She was quite literally to the manor born, being born and brought up at Overton Manor, in a tiny hamlet just outside York. Part of a big farming family, her parents were strict Methodists, her Father a local JP.
After leaving school, Margaret nursed at Harlow Wood hospital, where she met the first love of her life, Frank Chambers. They were married in Lincoln having eloped, as Grandfather Harrison didn’t approve. They went on to have two daughters, Val and Ronnie. Sadly, Frank died in 1970. With typical courage, Margaret picked up and moved on with life.
With unparalleled hope and optimism, she decided to train to be a social worker. She went on to work for Social Services in York and Sussex, before early retirement on her move to Derbyshire.
In 1978, Margaret decided to improve her painting skills by taking a painting holiday in the Lake District. This holiday proved eventful, because it was there she met Gilbert who, following a whirlwind romance, she married on a snowy day in December of that year. Gilbert went on to become the second love of her life and they had 25 years of very happy and blissful married life. As well as gaining a husband, she also gained two step-daughters in Helen and Christine. Sadly Gilbert passed away following a short illness in 2004.
They started their married life by moving to Sussex. But, missing family and with an ever increasing flock of grandchildren arriving, they decided to move back north to Derbyshire. They set up home in Winster originally, moving to Tansley in 1984.
Methodism was a central facet of Margaret’s life. She was totally involved in the life of Tansley Methodist Chapel, Margaret played the organ, piano and was a Church / Communion Steward. She was secretary of the Women’s Fellowship – Margaret used her skills as a secretary for many groups and her role of Membership Secretary for the Derbyshire Dales Ramblers involved her in rambling about the area delivering newsletters to the group’s many members.
She was the Missions Secretary at Church, emptying the Home Mission boxes along with her great friend Audrey Strange. She was on the rota to serve tea, coffee and scones on Friday mornings and for many years held the Lent meetings at home.
Margaret and Gilbert worked tirelessly together and separately in their active involvement in all sorts of areas of Tansley and Matlock life. They volunteered in the Oxfam shop and Margaret was presented with a certificate for 20 years ‘behind the counter’ last year. Together, they were founder members of the Matlock Artists society. She continued with the Artists’ Society after his death, inaugurating the Seymour Trophy for watercolours in Gilbert’s memory. She also helped establish the Thursday Painters.
She took enthusiastically to the University of the Third Age, becoming a founder member and member of the management committee of the Matlock Area U3A. She learned to play bridge (not as successfully as she hoped!). She became a stalwart of the U3A, joining the Poetry and Theatre group and coordinating the Play Reading groups. Margaret loved Shakespeare and looked forward to going each year to Stratford with Helen and Chris. Her lifelong love of poetry is evidenced by the shelves of poetry books to be found at Ashley Close. She was an enthusiast for poetry new and old, particularly enjoying poems written by Carol Ann Duffy, poet Laureate.
In 2003 she was presented with the WRVS medal, partly in recognition of Margaret’s service to the Meals on Wheels service.
Margaret was a founder member of Matlock Gilbert and Sullivan Society and was in most of the productions and concerts over the last 22 years. She was highly valued as an excellent soprano and vivacious chorus member.
Liz McKenzie from G and S, summed up so many people’s view of Margaret when she said, “In all the years I knew her, I never heard her say a bad word about anyone. She was optimistic and cheerful and never moaned about her health problems; in fact she was always upbeat whenever I spoke to her, even at the hospital, two weeks ago. We will miss her. She was an elegant and engaging lady.”
An enthusiastic member of the Tansley Gardening and Countryside Club, Tansley Film Club, Tansley Book Club and the Tansley Ladies Group, Margaret loved to be an active member of her local community. With her friend Dorothy, she attended many films at the village hall and always had valid and often lengthy opinions thereon!
Margaret’s enthusiasm for life and embracing all that it had to offer was evidenced in many ways. She took up the Gym last year, throwing herself into treadmills, weight machines and even the rowing machine. Actually, she only wanted to go to the gym so she could have an iPod.
Her love of new technology, in fact her love of gadgets in general was legendary. If there was a job needing doing and she could get a gadget to do it, she did. From knitting machines, massaging mattresses, electric tinopeners to state of the art hoovers, bread slicers and onion choppers, Margaret had them all. But more impressive was her enthusiasm for IT. She used computers all the time, embraced internet shopping and banking. She loved her Kindle and would have bought an iPad if she could have decided which size to get.
Margaret just wanted to learn things. Her thirst for learning and a need to go out and do new things, being up for any challenge, is a theme that runs right through her long and full life.
One of Margaret’s great joys was her Grandchildren. Thomas, William, Ben, Hannah, Lizzie and Joe were a constant source of delight and amusement (and sometimes bemusement) to her. She was so proud of all their many achievements in life. She taught them about art, about the countryside, took them on Family Rambling Day and went with them on horrifying rides at Disneyland. They too were extremely proud of her and viewed her as some sort of ‘Super Gran’, always up for a laugh or a challenge. Much to her great delight last year along came Ben and Sonia’s Olive, making her a Great Grannie, or GG as she put on their card. And on the Sunday before she passed away, Thomas and Anna came to see her, with as yet to make an appearance, Great Grandson Monty.
As Thomas More said, “What part soever you take upon you, play that as well as you can and make the best of it.” And that was Margaret to a tee. Don’t ever give in. a lesson for life for us all.
Full eulogy available on request. Please email Sue Smith.
The Service of Thanksgiving for her full and active life was held at her local church, Tansley Methodist, on Thursday 3rd of April. It was extremely well attended.
God bless you Margaret Elizabeth Seymour. May you rest in eternal peace.