10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
I have been meaning to write to you for some time.
I enclose a note of my recollections of Hazel. It amazed me when I wrote it how little we had actually met and I wonder if I have left anything out but I’m pretty sure that I have not.
Looking back it seems that our meeting in 1969 was enough to cement a friendship that lasted years but ended all to soon. We didn’t seem to need to meet up for us to stay in touch and be able to pick up very easily when we did meet. I have thought about Hazel a lot over the last few months. I miss knowing that she is there and that there is no longer the possibility that we will meet again some day.
On the day that Pat rang to say Hazel had died, we lit a candle for her that evening. I noticed how the candle burnt very strong and brightly and I thought, yes, that’s right, Hazel was strong and bright and she must have gone through so much.
We have commemorated her life by donating some money to the Woodland Trust and they have planted some trees in her memory in Puckets Wood, Beaminster, Dorset. The trees will not be marked in any way but if you and the children ever manage to visit England and walk in the woods then you will know that a few have been planted in her memory. We visit Dorset occasionally, as my brother now lives there and I hope to visit the wood one day.
I enclose the certificate provided by the Woodland Trust and also a little bit about the wood itself. I hope it seems an appropriate way to remember Hazel.
I hope we stay in touch and if you should visit England then do please get in touch and also Pat if she is ever this way it would be nice to meet her.
We think about you all and send you our best wishes,
Sarah & Don
I must have first met Hazel in September 1969. I can be that precise because we met when we both started on the same course at the Taunton Technical College — as it was then — doing a secretarial course. I know Hazel had just graduated — I think, from Southampton where she had read Botany — but my memory may be totally wrong.
As it happened, I sat in front of Hazel during this year — I don’t think we ever moved class rooms and that is how we first got to know each other. I do remember Hazel having to mark my spelling tests which we had at regular intervals and, spelling not being one of from strong points, it provided Hazel with much amusement on occasions!
Also on the course was a friend of Hazel’s, who I think she had been at University with — Pam was possibly her name.
I vaguely recall Hazel being active in amateur dramatics during the year. I do not recall where she was living but as I think about it I’m now wondering whether she was staying with her sister but that might be totally wrong.
During that year I do recall that Hazel and I went to Oxford one weekend. We stayed with a friend of Hazel’s whose name I think was Suzy and we went to a party given by someone I knew.
I think she must have met my mother and my brother during that year as they both remember her and I was living at home, having left Leeds University after one year due to illness, and was doing the secretarial course really because I wasn’t sure what else to do.
At the end of the year I thing Hazel went to work for the Chemistry Society in London.
I think quite soon after that she left for Australia and I don’t recall seeing much of her when she worked in London but we always remained in touch.
Hazel did visit us I think in about 1982, by which time I had married Don and we were living in Gwydir Street, Cambridge. We both recall her arriving in a London taxi which she had bought and I’m sure she was intending to travel round Europe in the taxi.
I have some photos of this visit and enclose some colour photocopies.
The next time I saw her was when she visited with Rob and was able to stay overnight and this was not long before Joshua was born. I remember we had lunch in the Free Press pub and I enclose a photograph of us. I think this was taken by Rob and Hazel who then sent us a copy.
We have always kept in touch with at least a letter at Christmas.
Sarah was a friend of Hazel’s.