Hester Davenport

Windlesora 30 (2014)

Sadly, Hester died peacefully on 23 September 2013; she has left a huge vacant space in the Windsor Local History Group.

Hester joined the WLHG in February 1994, her first article called Edward Lear at Clewer Green appeared in Windlesora 13 that year; she became Editorial Consultant the following year. In 2000 she took over the chair from Joyce, and in 2001 led the Group in their to date most ambitious project: Windsor 1000 Years, a best seller.

Hester has written 26 articles and book reviews, for Windlesora from number 13 to 29 and made substantial contributions towards Streets of Windsor and Eton, Vanished Windsor, and The Charles Knight Years. She also organised two exhibitions. And then there were her own publications: Writers of Windsor. Fanny Burney, Perdita and A Children’s History of Windsor.

Her writing is full of human intuition, reflecting her own intuitive kindness and wit. She was inspirational, always full of good advice, and in the Group, the voice of reason.

Besides writing she gave talks on a number of subjects, from women in the Crimea to the history of bathing. They were always well researched, fascinating but most of all hugely entertaining and delivered with great wit.

She was also involved with the Friends of the Windsor Royal Borough Museum, and was one of the driving forces behind getting a museum. Her special passion was dioramas, and she was very excited when she was able to show one of them to the Queen at the official opening of the Museum.

She organised and ran a number of very successful WEA classes on Windsor history, and had a knack of getting the best out of her tea of lecturers. She also talent-spotted new members for Our Group from among the ‘students’.

Hester had many interests, the theatre, literature, music, history, travel, pottery, her garden, and was ever busy with something, but she always had time for others. She was the best of friends.

Brigitte Mitchell