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A Tribute to Margaret Watkins

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We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Margaret Watkins. She was such an active contributor to the Haddenham community and many will share in our major sense of loss at her passing. Here, long-term friend and colleague Lynne Colley provides a much deserved tribute.

It is with great sadness that I write this tribute to Margaret. She was a much-loved neighbour and friend and she has left a huge hole in our hearts.

Margaret has had an integral place in the heart of Haddenham village life for so many years and was involved in all sorts of groups and activities. She was always on the go and her enthusiasm for everything she undertook was infectious.

She was director of Haddenham Players, where lots of us will fondly remember being 'coerced' into taking part in her many highly successful plays and pantomimes. It was impossible to turn down her request to do 'just a small part' — she wouldn't take no for an answer! She always made it such fun to be involved. The offshoot of this was the start of Haddenham's very own Youth Theatre and her support and guidance in setting this up was invaluable.

Margaret was a long-time member of the Women's Institute and was President of the local branch for some years. She was a member of Aston Sandford Church and a founder member of the Art Group to which she regularly went on a Friday afternoon.

She organised and directed the Millennium Pageant, wrote and produced two wonderful plays, performed in St Mary's Church to celebrate anniversaries of the First World War, painstakingly researched with the help of Haddenham Museum, with which she was also very involved. Margaret's skill in making such a success of these events was her ability to bring together people from all corners of the village.

When she wasn't busy in her beloved garden or perfecting her talent for watercolour painting, Margaret could be found writing poetry. I also remember her being delighted with the publication of her first book 'Lost and Found', which was a collection of short stories about lost footwear, the idea for which came from a child's lost shoe which had been put on her garden wall!

Margaret's family were a big part of her life — she and Alan celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in December 2019 — and our love and thoughts are with Alan, Louise, Kate and the grandchildren at this very sad time. Haddenham won't be the same without her.

Lynne Colley