Tributes paid to 'happy and smiling' Hurst Morris dancer

A popular Morris dancer who captivated friends and audiences with her ‘zest for life’ has passed away following a battle with cancer.

Ann Wilson, known to most people as Annie, passed away on Thursday, April 22.

Passionate about dancing, Annie first joined the Hurst Morris People (HuMP) in the 1990s and also attended WAT Dance English country dance group in Dunsden Green.

She continued dancing into her 80s and performed at a folk festival only 18 months ago.

Before moving to Wokingham town centre, Annie lived in Heathlands Road in Wokingham and prior to this she resided in Crowthorne with her husband Alec who passed away 44 years ago.

Explaining Annie’s previous occupations, her sister June Forbes of Banbury said that she previously worked at Egham research laboratory where she met her husband and later joined British Airways Corporation at Heathrow Airport.

June said: “She’d seen the aircraft and wished to travel. She worked in the office and then transferred to British European Airways, working on the check in desks and sorting out problems.”

Annie, who was born in Portsmouth and has another sister called Pamela who lives in Lancashire, later worked for Pan American World Airways.

Annie later spoke with ‘great sadness’ about flight 103, which she had helped to check in, which in 1988, exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing all 259 of those on board.

In recent times, Annie joined Marlow Ukelele group.

Discussing their memories, Annie’s friends from HuMP, Margaret and Mike Russell and Mary Esslemont, said: “Annie was a popular member of her folk dance groups. And audiences were struck by her happy smiling face as she danced. She often brought her sister June along to watch,” they said.

“Her friendly, sociable nature meant she took part fully in everything. After dancing at a pub or fete she would join the musicians with her tambourine or spoons which she played with relish.

“On her travels with HuMP she was the life and soul of the party with many funny stories. She also took part in our annual mummers’ play dressed as a green dragon.”

Annie was treated for cancer last year.

Her family would like to express their thanks to Horton General Hospital in Banbury for supporting and caring for Annie.

Annie’s funeral is set to be held on Tuesday, May 18 at noon.

For details of the video link for the service, contact Edd Frost & Daughters Family Funeral Directors in Banbury on 01295 404004

Donations can be made in Annie’s memory at: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/donations-in-memory-of-ann-wilson

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