OUR MOTHER, Ute Lord, moved to Priest Hill in October 1961 from Clapham. From the start she was happy in her new home, with three small children and the fourth on the way. It was heaven having her own garden and not having to struggle up and down five flights of stairs with babies, shopping, etc.
Mum hadn’t seen the house before moving, and it was pitch dark when they arrived (the removal van broke down on the way from London!). We never knew how she managed, being seven months pregnant, and with three little ones to care for. The gas and electricity were off, so she couldn’t see the house she was to live in for the next sixty years until the morning. Luckily, a friendly neighbour helped, providing candles and soup. Even today Priest Hill has a very friendly feeling.
Just down the hill, at the corner with Hemdean Road, was Clifford’s Dairy, where Mum bought milk, eggs and cheese. She saw many changes at the site. She was a good friend of Vivian and Malcolm who lived there in the 1970s and ran a hairdresser’s and a carpentry business in the yard. She usually made friends with whoever was in occupation and would pop in for a chat on her way past. She loved the Blue Duck Gallery, and was very sad to see Siblings Café close a few years ago. She always wondered what would come next.
Mum came to England when she was 17 as an au pair to improve her English, working in Richmond. There she met our Dad, Tony Lord, and they were married in 1953.
For many years she worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH), first as a cytologist in the Pat
hology Lab and later as a Ward Clerk and in Occupational Therapy at Townlands and Peppard Hospital. She also worked for School Health for a time.
Her last involvement with the RBH was as a volunteer, first at the Heritage Museum and then on the reception desk, giving people directions, which she did until just five years ago.
Mum was due to go to St Luke’s in the New Year but died on Christmas Day in her beloved home, which is what she always said she wanted.
A memorial web site has been set up at https://utelord.muchloved.com