English, Department of



Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 21 (1990)


Published by The George Eliot Review Online https://GeorgeEliotReview.org


When Eva Beamish died in March she was in her ninety-first year. Her death this year has held a particular sadness for us since she was to have been our Guest of Honour at the Wreath-laying in Nuneaton in June. As this is the Fellowship's Diamond Jubilee year, it was thought most fitting that our wreath should be laid by our oldest member - certainly in terms of the length of her membership. Indeed, when we invited her, we were under the impression that she was a founder member but, in accepting the invitation, she pointed out that her father was a founder member. Eva joined the Fellowship at his death in 1934, so she had been a member for 56 years.

Eva was born in Nuneaton and lived there unti11975 when, after the death of her husband, she moved to Midsomer Norton to be near her daughter, and it was at her daughter's home that she died. She was an ardent bell-ringer and had been ringing for 75 years, beginning at the age of 15 at Chilvers Coton Church when replacement ringers were urgently needed because so many of the men had gone away to the war. Eva had to stop ringing when she went away to teacher training college but she very quickly resumed when she returned to Nuneaton. She taught at Nuneaton High School and Bramcote Hospital Special School.