Sheila Duke, neé Bowbrick, 1930–2006

Sheila Duke, nee Bowbrick, in 1957, aged 27
My Aunt Sheila (in the front of this picture), a funny, generous, rude and slightly loopy Cockney who always cheered me up and was a proper anchor for the Bowbricks in good times and bad, has died. She was born in 1930, one of seven. She was my Dad’s older sister by about a year (and often his proxy guardian during the war and evacuation and hop picking and all that South London malarky).

She led a difficult and sometimes chaotic life like many working class women of her generation, married twice and had two kids: Cath and Val. She loved a good row, with a shopkeeper, usually – a class of person she didn’t have much time for. She also liked a good party (most recently celebrating her Aunt Kit’s 100th birthday). She leaves behind a lovely (and equally loopy, if you ask me) crowd of children and grandchildren – and one lovely great granddaughter. I know they’re all missing her hugely and I will too.

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