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Kathleen Roberts

(17th January 1927 - 22nd November 2021)

Kathleen Roberts

17/1/1927 – 22/11/2021

Kathie was born Kathleen Coles 17-Jan 1927 in “Southwood”, the house that she lived in all her long life. It was a world we can barely imagine now with fires in the tiny grates in every room and the boiler being specially fired up for hot water for laundry and baths.

Southwood was built by her grandfather and occupied then by her grandparents and mother. Many people have passed through Southwood since – American soldiers billeted during the war, friends from Hersham, friends from work, friends from overseas, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Everyone welcomed with a cup of tea.

As a girl she did well at school and gained a place at Tiffin Girls School.

Stories include the headmistress marching the whole school down to the Thames when it was frozen in winter 1941. “You girls will never see this again in your lifetime” (she was right)

Through the Guides she worked as a nurse in the war, even as a very young girl – cycling all the way to St Peters in Chertsey during the blackout until her granddad put a stop to that as too dangerous – she continued working at Rodney Road.

She taught a Sunday School class and played the piano there.

After matriculating she worked at County Hall, Kingston as a shorthand typist, then later worked in a similar capacity at Bullens offices in Olympia.

Stories from this time include being sneaked into the Ideal Home exhibition, for which Bullens did all the “shifting” – let in a fire exit, she & her friend found herself right near the Queen as she was being shown around the exhibition on its first day. (Not much Security back then)

There were a particular bunch of friends around in those days, most of whom worked at Hackbridge-Hewitt – like most of Hersham.

That bunch of twenty-somethings were interested in cars. They would go to see the racing at Brands Hatch, and turned up with a contraption on a trailer that one of them had built which unfolded to create a precarious stand for a dozen or more. (Not much Health & Safety back then)

Her friends included Nigel Roberts, who she would marry in 1950.

He was an engineer and left the Hackbridge factory to set up, with the Wright brothers, a garage to fix cars at Walton Station goods yard.

There was also the small matter of a couple of kids – Clive & Tony (1953 & 1957).

After us children grew out of being mewling infants Kathie, also worked at the garage, in the office typing out estimates and invoices until it changed ownership in the 90s

The main part of her life was work. Work at work, and work at home keeping the house, looking after her aging mother.

Running a small business like that meant there was little time for holidays.

When, finally Dad retired and sold the business they had more time for that, but they never went far. A cottage in the Cotswolds or Cornwall was their ideal, where they could take gentle walks with their little dachshund, but only for a week.

She was always a member of St Peter’s Church and took a class for Sunday School – playing the piano for their hymns and songs.

Later, she would be on both the flower rota and the cleaning rota for the church, right up until she simply could not do it anymore.

But I am forgetting the main thing: Throughout all the phases of her life and all the people she met I never heard one say she was anything other than lovely, kind and generous. That’s what she was, and that’s how she will always be.

Kathie passed away very quietly and it is not possible to express fully how sad we are at her leaving us.

She lived what can be described as a quiet life but she touched the lives of so many positively that it does not seem enough to say that.

She loved everyone equally, universally and always tried to see the best in every person she met. Even though she was severely hallucinating almost from the very day of her fall, she stayed true to herself even in her dream life, comforting herself with the busy, happy theatre of all the people in her past.

She was full of love, for us and for her many, many friends who all will miss her terribly. To the very end, she stayed full of love.

She was at the centre of our lives and it is a different world without her.

Charity Donation In Memory of Kathleen Roberts

Donate to Macmillan Cancer Support

You can choose to make your donation amount private, if you wish.

Macmillan Cancer Support Donations

John and Pauline Palmer

In loving memory of Kathie Roberts who was a wonderful support to all of us xxx

£200.00 + £50.00 Gift Aid


£50.00 + £12.50 Gift Aid


£50.00 + £12.50 Gift Aid



Val Ball

In loving memory of my very special friend, from Val Ball and Caroline, Jon and James


£50.00 + £12.50 Gift Aid


£25.00 + £6.25 Gift Aid


Macmillan Cancer Support

£425.00 + Gift Aid of £93.75

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