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downsmail.co.uk Ursula Hitcham


URSULA Jean Hitcham (89), of Hengist Court, Marsham Street, lived locally for many years after marrying husband Peter in 1956.


Born Ursula Reid in Stratford, London, she moved to Maidstone with Peter when he served with 36 Engineering Regiment, stationed at Maidstone Barracks. After living in the barracks, Ursula and Peter


settled in Barming. Ursula was mother to Jane, Catherine and David. Catherine said: “Our mother had a number of local involvements. She and I ran Loose Girl Guides in the early 1980s. “After our father died in 1993, she


moved into Maidstone and became a member of St Luke’s congregation, where she made many friends and assisted with many events and activities.” Ursula worked as an usher at Marlborough Street Magistrates Court in London, retiring in 1996. She leaves her daughters, grandchildren Thomas, Rebecca, James, Joseph, Kieran and Lucy and three great-grandchildren. Son, David, pre-deceased her.


Paul Nihill


OLYMPIAN Paul Nihill (81), from Medway, was a athlete with an illustrious history. He moved to the local area where he spent his later years, becoming well known for his support of athletics and boxing and noted as a radio personality.


Born in Essex, Paul


overcame a troubled childhood and less- than-successful spell in the Army to


become one of the most signicant race walkers in British athletic history. His achievements include an Olympic


silver medal in 1964 for the 50km walk (both he and the Italian winner broke the existing world record), an incredible run of 96 consecutive victories in British race- walking events between 1967 and 1971 and the achievement of being the rst British athlete to compete in four successive Olympiads (1964 – 1976). In 1976, he was awarded the MBE for services to his sport. Paul married Joan in 1964 and became father to Tony, Clare and Vincent. He divorced and married his second wife, Pauline, in 1990, although the couple separated in 2009. He leaves his children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.


Peter Hart


THE death of long-serving local bus driver Peter Hart (64) has led to widespread tributes and a GoFundMe page to


establish a memorial in his honour. Peter, who spent 15


years driving buses for Arriva, was preparing to retire when he died. He regularly drove the number ve route from Maidstone to Hawkhurst, and social media tributes


have been left by passengers. Peter, who lived in Maidstone with his partner, Linda, died in Maidstone Hospital of COVID-19 related causes. The father of three and grandfather of seven had planned to spend more time playing golf in his retirement.


His daughter, Louise Pepper, has spoken of her father’s love of his job, his colleagues, and a joke.


George Farmer


GEORGE Farmer (93) lived in Grove Green for almost 20 years and celebrated 70 years of marriage to Betty in 2019. Born and raised on the edge of London, George ran Farsams DIY shop in Bexleyheath for many years.


George’s daughter, Susan, said: “Family was the number one pleasure in my


father’s life. He moved locally in 2003, but knew people all over from his many years of playing cricket for Oakdene. “After he retired, my brother Graham took him to Lords to see England play, a


real high spot in our father’s life. “People will remember him as a gentleman; polite, well-mannered and considerate. He will be missed by his wife, and children Graham, Susan, Marilyn and Joanne.”


When George and Betty received a card from the Queen marking their 70 years of marriage, they were one of only 30 couples to have reached that milestone in 2019. George leaves his wife, children, six grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren.


Charles Fraser


MAIDSTONE’S Charles Fraser (84) died of Coronavirus on January 5. Born in Aberdeen, Charles came to England in the late 50s as a soldier stationed in


Sheerness. He met and married wife of 61 years, Jeanne. Charles later worked for Reed’s Paper Mill, East Malling


Research Centre and Cobland’s Landscapes.


Charles was father to Jackie, Andrew and Isla. Andrew said: “My father had many hobbies including drawing, darts, reading and gardening. He specialised in bonsai trees and conifers. “He never forgot his Scottish roots and


travelled back to the Highlands every year, taking the family with him. “He inspired love and loyalty in those around him and this was repaid when he needed care late in his life. His granddaughter Keira Jane in particular stepped up to help. People will remember him as quiet, reserved, kind-hearted and ready to help others.” Charles leaves his wife, children, ve grandchildren and ve great- grandchildren.


THE STONE SHOP EAST FARLEIGH


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01622 720985 www.camrasswills.co.uk


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01622 726633 FREE CAR PARK NEXT TO SHOP There is no charge for our obituary service. Call Neil Nixon on 01622 630422 or email neilnixon22@gmail.com 33


Obituaries


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