Local readers may have noticed an Appreciation in last week’s Westmorland Gazette for this lady who has just died age 91.
She was one of the very first members of the Brathay Hall staff. In fact it may be true to say that she was one of those who ensured that Brathay flourished in ways that were not always to do with physical activity in the open air. Her specialism was art and ceramics; something probably quite new to our young engineers and shipyard workers who had only recently left school where resources were often limited. She must have taught them to look, to think, and to express themselves in a different way.
On behalf of Brathay, I attended her Funeral; a joyful occasion in which friends and family portrayed her as a positive outgoing person who could enthuse others in all aspects of art and (her other love) the outdoors. My time at Brathay didn’t quite stretch back to hers and so I never met her. But I could see how her interests must have made her a valuable and successful member of the Hall staff. Some years later Pottery and Ceramics again flourished at Brathay and I understand that now it could be re-introduced. All this, then, goes back to those early days with Maggie. One funeral tribute spoke of her Creativity, Joy and Surprise: words which also sum up much of what Brathay is all about.
After Brathay she had a very active and much traveled career working as a professional potter but latterly she came back to the Lakeland she loved. Go into the Elephant Yard in Kendal and you will see some of her work on permanent display. Now there’s a way to make your mark!