Local Face: Mal Williams

  |  Published: Dec 1st 2018

Marilyn Daykin was born and grew up in Levens, Cumbria and only reached Wendover by a circuitous route.

Her uncle played saxophone in a band and she “entertained” her grandfather by bashing the piano in time honoured infant fashion so she started lessons a month before her fifth birthday. By the age of seven her interest in learning the piano was waning but her father told her the story of Robert the Bruce and the Spider never giving up on its web so she didn’t. In fact she has always been able to pick up a tune and play without music and can transpose as necessary. She is also blessed with perfect pitch. This helped her to win the local music festival in Kendal, Cumbria at the age of 13. She never looked back after that. She could always play the latest pop tunes by ear which made her very popular. She also passed all the usual piano exams and diplomas and eventually took an Open University degree. Music was always around her but she trained as a primary school teacher so she taught everything.

Marilyn became involved with youth work in Skelmersdale and as a result was set up on a blind date with David Williams. He was in the RAF and was posted to Cyprus for three years so they started corresponding. He mis-spelt her name and thereafter she became Mal. Yes, reader, she married him and joined him on various postings including Cyprus and Berlin where she taught in Forces Schools.

Eventually they moved to Wendover and Mal joined the Free Church at about the same time as Ruth Bottoms came as Minister, and she was invited to play the organ, alternating with Gordon Crown. She continues to this day. The current minister, Rev Remco, plays keyboard and guitar so they complement each other well. She has occasionally played for Roman Catholic Services and is very happy to play for Churches Together in Wendover Services, notably the Praise services.

David died in 2000 but Mal enjoyed living in Wendover and now played for Kercher School of Dance so she stayed and now in retirement she is able to indulge in various craft hobbies and expanding her horizons with travel. She has always knitted but has now branched out into embroidery and painting as well as joining Oxford Scribes - a calligraphy group. She was fortunate to find a left -handed teacher and is now the goto person for inscribing books, poppy wreaths etc whenever asked. Mal joined the craft group started by Janet Dimishky. Their work was displayed in the JUST window for the Armistice Centenary and Mal wrote the labels. All are welcome to the craft group which meets approximately fortnightly on Wednesdays in Wendover Christian Centre.

Mal at the organ
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