woensdag 24 augustus 2016

Ventnor, Seawall between Wheelers Bay and Bonchurch, Stella Margaret Williamson


On the Seawall between Wheelers Bay and Bonchurch you can have a wonderful walk. On the seawall there are a few benches, only two with a plaque. The bench dedicated to Mrs.Stella Margaret Williamson is at a lovely spot. From here you have a magnificent view on the sea.

Stella Margaret Williamson was born in 1912 from William Healing, a violinist at His Majesty's Theatre and his wife Maggie. She had two sisters and one brother.

                            Mrs Williamson worked some time in a bookstall similar to this one

After leaving school she worked in the family shop and at a Whitehall Court bookstall in London.  It was here that she met George Bernard Shaw and Cole Porter. She is mentioned in the biography Michael Holroyd wrote about Shaw.

After she moved to the Isle of Wight she married Edward Howe, who was a patient in the Royal National Hospital in Ventnor. Until he died she managed several businesses. She had a shop for patients and was a host at the Conservative Club in Ventnor. After the war she ran a guest house in Ventnor.

In 1948 she married Patrick Evans, who was a producer for Dutch National Radio. She moved with him to Hilversum. The marriage did not last long and she returned to Ventnor. She married a third time: now to Bill Williamson, who was a civil engineer. He was a builder of nuclear bunkers. The couple moved around the country, but in 1985 they returned to Ventnor.

Mrs.Williamson was a keen gardener but was also very active in singing and acting. She was a member of a couple of choirs on the Isle of Wight and drama groups.  She also started a pottery in Ventnor.

In earlier life she was one of the pioneers of  Meals on Wheels and was interviewed about that on the BBC Today program in 1977.

She leaves her husband behind, four children, many grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

A better spot for a possible bench dedicated to her is hard to find.

                                          View from the bench

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