Tribute: (Rosa) Susan Woosley
Susan Woosley passed away at home in April.
Sue moved from London to Wendover in 1979 or 1980 with her husband John Stuart Woosley, who sadly died a few years later.
Sue was naturally creative. She loved the theatre, especially musicals, and had considerable flair with interior design. She used to devour House & Garden magazine. She loved styling a room, working on colour schemes, selecting fabrics and furniture. Heals on Tottenham Court Road was a favourite destination. Peter Jones at Sloane Square was another.
She was a fantastic cook. Working in restaurants, looking after front of house, Sue picked up knowledge from multiple chefs, then enhanced it with books by Fanny Craddock, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child. She made a spectacular paella at a time it was a dish many people hadn’t heard of. Sue also made a wonderful roast chicken with chestnut stuffing. Anyone who has ever made chestnut stuffing from scratch will tell you it’s ridiculously laborious. But Sue enjoyed the delight people got from her cooking.
When John and Sue decided to move out of London, they went about it in a very methodical way. (John was an engineer and very logical.)
When they saw Wendover, they were both smitten by its abundant charm and good transport links. Later John would play a vital role in the campaign to save (what became) the Chiltern Line. (In the mid 1980s after years of underinvestment, the line from Marylebone to Aylesbury was under serious threat.)
Sue was born in 1936 and she was eight when the Second World War ended. Although to hear her tell it, anyone would think she’d fought them on the beaches—singlehanded!
Sue’s dad was a farmer and not surprisingly, as a farmer’s daughter she loved nature in all its manifestations. And she especially loved children. Generations of kids in Wendover got treats from Sue over the years—usually involving chocolate. For birthdays, or Easter, or just because…
Sue marched to the beat of her own drum. She was an accomplished gardener and a talented singer. She was partial to a good pint. Sue enjoyed travelling and explored the USA extensively.
In later life she enjoyed annual adventures with her son and daughter-in-law in exotic locales like the Algarve, Turkey, and Bloomsbury.
Sue’s no-nonsense warmth and her quirky sense of humour livened up the village of Wendover for forty-odd years. She will be sorely missed by family and friends.
I met Susan about 30 years ago. She helped me by taking my son for short walks in his buggy while I worked. She was grateful to have little paid jobs. She was a woman of substance and depth.
We shared a lot of fun and her saucy sense of humour and love of colour, art, and literature gave us a connection. We occasionally had a shared lunch and the table at her house was always full of delicious food. She enjoyed her food immensely. She sat for me as a model whilst I painted her watercolour portrait (right).
As a free spirit, she was sometimes misunderstood. She will be missed by those that cared about her.