Tributes paid to singing St Albans grandmother

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 November 2017

Barbara Liddle on her wedding day

Barbara Liddle on her wedding day

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a darts and music-loving grandmother who was the tragic victim of a hit and run.

Barbara Liddle and her husband Barbara Liddle and her husband

Barbara Liddle, 76, of Camp Road, was born at St Albans City Hospital in 1941 and spent her whole life living in the city.

Described as “academic and brainy” by her daughter, Sharon Liddle, Barbara was schooled first at Gardens Fields JMI School and then at Townsend CoE School.

In her 20s Barbara was the lead singer in a band called Dusty, Babs, and the Starlights. She was so talented a music label headhunted her out of the whole group, but Barbara was so loyal she refused to take the opportunity without her friends.

She flourished onstage, “becoming a different person” who was no longer shy, Sharon said.

Barbara Liddle Barbara Liddle

As a young woman Barbara worked until she became a mum - her future husband asked her out at a dance, an offer she initially refused because she thought he was arrogant.

After countless more propositions and encouragement from friends Barbara finally agreed to one date. Soon afterwards he predicted they would have two children named Kevin and Sharon, and he was right.

They married four years later at St Peter’s Church in 1964 and they stayed together for about 40 years until he passed away.

It was only when Sharon and Kevin were teenagers that Barbara took a job at electronic manufacturer Hocking NDT. She loved it, working there for 30 years until the factory closed.

She also picked up a job at a pub called The Camp on Camp Road, gaining confidence while working behind the bar.

Sometimes when a band was playing Barbara would be invited onstage to showcase her voice, and while there she also discovered a love of darts - playing for teams across Hertfordshire.

Barbara was killed by a car outside her home on the way to a darts match in late September.

She leaves behind a son, Kevin, 48, a son-in-law Brian, 49, a daughter Sharon, 46, grandchildren Sian, 28, Rhianne, 21, Rhys, 17, Megan, 12, and great-granddaughter Aida, who will turn one on November 10.

Sharon said: “She knew everybody, it’s what happens when you live in the same house for 45 years.

“She was a brilliant mum and we had a good upbringing, she did everything right and she will be sorely missed. It’s still a shock.”

Although she never enjoyed travelling, disliking planes and boats as a mode of transport, Barbara would often visit her son Kevin in Blackpool.

Kevin said: “Mum always had her lipstick on and her hair done. She was always well turned out, she looked after herself.

“She was the best. Sharon and I had such a happy childhood.”

On her love of darts, he said: “I went to see her play a few times with my dad and I was so proud. We always used to sit at the back out of sight because if she knew we were there it would make her nervous.”

Herts police are still searching for the drivers of medium-sized light-coloured cars, possibly BMWs, and a small dark-coloured hatchback, because they were seen in the area around the time of the incident.

They have also appealed to mechanics and garages who may have repaired bonnet damage after the offence.

Det Insp Chris Puddy said: “To the person who was driving the vehicle involved, you have caused unimaginable pain and suffering to Barbara’s family. You cut her life short and her loved ones now have to live without their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I am asking you to do the right thing and hand yourself in.”

Anyone with information about the hit and run should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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I had been wondering if she would be there. I had encountered what looked like the remains of her feasting along the path. The telltale circle of piled feathers that indicated a pigeon devoured, plucked breast up, the carcass taken for final pickings by its captor.

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