Tributes to Nancy, who gave much to her community
A Cornhill woman, who was at the heart of her community for more than half-a-century, passed away earlier this month, aged 99.
Nancy Clark, who died at the Borders General Hospital on October 7, was born Agnes Hope on June 19, 1917, at Bowmonthill, near Yetholm. She was the oldest of three girls and two boys, one of whom died in infancy. When Nancy was two, the family moved to Pressen, Northumberland, where her father and later her brother were farm stewards.
She married her husband Davie in April 1951 and moved to Cornhill in 1961. She lived happily there for the next 55 years at the centre of village life, in every sense. As Davie’s health gradually deteriorated, she nursed him devotedly at home until he died in July 2005.
She recovered remarkably from her loss and carried on living independently at home right up to the end. She needed help with cleaning and her beloved garden, but did her own shopping and cooking, still led a very active family and social life, and was involved in everything that happened in Cornhill. This summer, in her 100th year, she presented the prizes at Cornhill Flower Show and won several herself, including the cup for best gladiola presented in commemoration of Davie.
She was involved in everything in Cornhill – the village hall, Tuesday Club, Flower Show and Women’s Institute. She was a member of Cornhill WI for a remarkable 83 years and president for 40, still chairing meetings well into her 90s.
In 2005, at the age of 89, she was awarded the title of Woman of the Year by Berwick Borough Council and, in 2008, she won the national Community Champion award, presented at the Tower of London.
She was an expert cook, baker, knitter, sewer and loved to pass on her skills and knowledge to children. She was always willing to try new things – she went on the London Eye at the age of 91 and helped launch the internet café at the village shop.
She worked tirelessly for charities, including the Borders air ambulance and Remembrance Day, where she sold poppies for more than 60 years.
Born in the darkest days of the First World War, into a rural world without electricity, running water, cars or telephones, she lived to talk to her great-grandsons in New Zealand by Skype. She will be sadly missed by many – her large extended family, neighbours and friends.