Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Muriel Lane

One of my mother's many cousins (a first cousin once removed) was Muriel Irene Lane who was born in 1908, a year before Mum. She and Mum got on well and corresponded right until Mum's death a couple of years ago. Then Muriel continued swapping Christmas cards and brief notes with Jo and I each year. Muriel had the most beautiful and distinctive handwriting and even on last year's Christmas card it was far more legible than mine has ever been.

Muriel married John Pearce and lived in Poole, Dorset, before moving to Stourport-on-Severn. They had one son and two daughters and after John died in 1996 Muriel lived with her elder daughter, Moira.

This morning I e-mailed Geoffrey Lane, another cousin, to check whether Muriel was still at Stourport-on-Severn (and effectively to check she was still with us) because her hundredth birthday was coming up nest week. Sadly it was to find out that she died a few days ago. She did not quite make it to 100, but from what Moira tells us, she was beginning to weary of life, and was rather less impressed than some of her relatives by the prospect of reaching such a great age. By sheer chance I caught Geoffrey as he was about to set off to the funeral - just six days before she would have been 100.

Our sincere commiserations go to Moira, Stuart and Hilary and their families.

Despite her marriage she was always known in our household as Muriel Lane. I met John a few times when he passed through Liverpool on his way to Ireland but so far as I can recall I never met Muriel, yet she will be missed. She was the last of a generation of real ladies and gentlemen.

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