Tribute: Valerie Moir
Valerie Moir 1934 – 2020
Val was a long term resident of Wendover, arriving in 1971, and staying in the same house on the Tring Rd for the rest of her life. There she raised her two sons and welcomed her two grandchildren.
She was originally born in Ealing but evacuation to Long Crendon gave her a life long love of the country and country ways. She worked on farms in the 1950s with one of her strongest memories the sense of community working in the fields accompanied by singing. These were the days before the transistor radio and where horses were still in everyday employ. She kept pigs. In 1957 she sold six for a total of £84.
In 1959 she married Stewart and they moved first to Tylers Green near High Wycombe and then on to Wendover. Her sons, Alastair and Alexander, were born in 1961 and 1962.
Her love of children led first to becoming an infant helper and then to train as a teacher. Her first job was at Halton School. Later she specialised in more challenging children at Hengrove School in St Leonards. Her firm but fair approach was respected by both the children and the headteachers.
Val was an enthusiast with many interests. She was a talented potter and as well as the usual bowls and dishes she specialised in miniature models of people’s houses. These commissions were quite often surprise presents and Val could be seen discreetly measuring and photoing the original to ensure the copy was as accurate as possible.
History, both local and national, was another fascination. For the centenary of the First World War Val researched and published monthly bulletins in the Wendover News. For four and a half years she covered events on the front and what was happening back home in a typical English community. She, with Stewart, her late husband, published a thoroughly researched and well received guide to the pubs of Wendover, most now unfortunately lost. There was also a book on all the Wendover men lost in the war.
When the new flats were being built near Clay Lane the developers wanted a name for the close with no relevance to location. Val fought against the anodyne and with her local history knowledge suggested “Juson’s Glebe” after a local farmer and benefactor of the church that had stood on the site.
Val was a member of the U3A and Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society. She studied her own family history and took her roots back to Oxfordshire and Ross and Cromarty. She was a keen gardener and many stopped to admire the neat and always colourful beds and box hedging on their way up the hill. The “Father Christmas” hats on the topiary always raised a smile.
She loved meeting people and was always eager to hear others’ thoughts and views. She would look beyond the superficial and find things in people that others missed. Her overriding sense of fairness meant that she would never prejudge and would put herself out on a limb to ensure, where possible, that justice was done. She was not afraid to speak the truth where it may not have been welcomed.
Val had many friends both old and new and enjoyed cooking for them, sharing music and trips to the concert hall and theatres.
Val is survived by Alastair and his wife Bev and son Gregory, and Alex and Jo with their son Jim. The family would like to thank all those who have been in touch with their kind messages.