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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Festival 2019 issue

Wendy Hilary Pearce 1939-2019

After gaining her “O” levels Wendy was forced to leave Portsmouth Southern Grammar School for Girls in 1955 for family reasons although she was desperate to continue her education and eventually teach. She immediately started work at Telephone House, taking “A” level evening courses at the Portsmouth College of Technology and also took and passed the Open Competition Clerical Officers Exam. A colleague talked her in to “helping to dress the stage” for the annual Post Office pantomime (performed in St Peter’s Hall, Somerstown and then “on tour” to such far flung places as Fareham and Havant!) It was through this that she met John, a telephone engineer who was in charge of Stage Lighting. (Wendy’s “helping to dress the stage” turned out to be with her presence!).

John was also Portsmouth Telephone Area Social Club Secretary, and during her time at Telephone House Wendy became a Committee Member, helping to organise many social events including the Annual Dinner and Dance, Themed Dances and the Ferry Boat Shuffle which entailed hiring a Gosport Ferry Boat, loading it with drinks, food and a piano and dancing our way across the Solent to watch the Fireworks display at the end of Cowes Week. Wendy and John were married in 1960, and bought a new semi-detached house in Esher Grove, Waterlooville (£2500!). Wendy started attending St George’s Church in 1962. Wendy left work three months before the arrival of their first daughter Juliet and four years later Beverley was born. During her hospital time following Juliet’s birth, Wendy became friendly with a lady in the next bed resulting in her joining the Phoenix Players, taking a lead role in some of the productions. During this time, Wendy was a full time mum but as funds were tight she managed to get two temporary part time evening jobs, firstly with The News and then with Johnson and Johnson. She also learned to drive. All this time, Wendy and her daughters attended St George’s Church, helping and fund raising for the “new” church building project.

When Beverley started school, Wendy applied to the Teachers Training College in Milton and was accepted on a 3 year course for 5 to 9 year olds plus a Nursery Option. After three hectic, happy years she attained her Teaching Certificate with Merit. The family moved from Esher Grove to Stakes Hill Road. Wendy  taught for 16 years at Stockheath School and then the new Bidbury School. She was medically retired due to M.E. During this time, she was a Tester for Guides and Brownies each on two different badges. Wendy became involved in the St.George’s Players Pantos and Reviews. She has served on the Social and Fundraising and other Committees for many years and twice serving on the PCC. She also helped on the St George’s Parent and Toddler Group for five years.

Much of Wendy’s time has also been spent with her growing family particularly with her adored Grandchildren who have been a continual source of pride and happiness to her. Wendy was the inspiration of the far flung holidays she and John enjoyed such as “North to Alaska”, cruising “Singapore to Hong Kong” followed by “Beijing to Tokyo”. They also enjoyed going around with their touring caravan, starting with a trip to France and Italy before making their way back through Austria and France. In 2000 they sold the caravan and moved from  Hill Road to a bungalow in Wallis Road. They then resumed cruising holidays albeit shorter cruises to Norway and the Mediterranean which were greatly enjoyed, sometimes accompanied by other family members. In 2013, they moved to their Retirement Flat in Victory Court, where they made many friends and enjoyed life, continuing with their cruise holidays. Alas, after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Wendy  became unable to enjoy such holidays. In October 2017 after much care and support from John at home Wendy moved to  a Care Home where she lived for  15 months. After two months in hospital Wendy returned to Wallis Road, this time to live in a Nursing Home. A few weeks later on 24th February, she passed away peacefully with John by her side.

Wendy was the second child of Phyllis and Jack Jones of Hayes, Middlesex, and was born in St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

She moved to Bideford, Devon with her father’s firm in 1940.

She attended “Stella Maris Convent” briefly then “Geneva Primary School” after her parents’ divorce. A quiet shy child who loved her books, jigsaw puzzles and her cats she was sent with her sister to East Molesey, Surrey to live with her Father, new wife and two half-sisters and attended a Church Primary School there. Unhappy at home she responded to the Christian ethos at school and achieved well. This was the grounding of her Christian Faith.

She moved to Southsea in 1949/1950 to live with her mother and stepfather and attended Highlands Road Primary school where she sat and passed the Eleven Plus exam. Although offered a place at The Portsmouth High School because of her high marks, she chose to go to Portsmouth Southern Grammar School for Girls where her sister and local friends were attending and spent five happy years there.

During this time she and her closest friends attended and were confirmed at St. James’s Church, Milton.