Beloved St Albans sportswoman is fondly remembered

PUBLISHED: 14:57 24 November 2014

Jean Davies

Jean Davies


A homegrown sports champion who was crowned the winner of the national bowls championships in Wimbledon in the ‘70s has passed away.

Jean Davies, neé Hurcomb, was well known in the district for the sportsmanship; she played for Beaumont girls netball team and led them to victory on numerous occasions during the ‘40s.

This was followed by a captaincy of Hertfordshire county netball team of four years, after playing for eight. She was also selected for the England first reserves team from 1949 to 1951.

But bowls proved to be her sport of choice and it was a part of her life for around 50 years, with a membership at Harpenden indoor bowls club.

She also joined St Albans bowls club in 1996 and became Lady Captain in 1999 and Bowls President in 2002. She won various trophies at each of the clubs.

The 85 year old passed away on October 21 and her funeral was held this Tuesday at Garston Crematorium.

Friends and family gathered to say a fond farewell to her and celebrate her life, which included a job as a shorthand typist at de Haviland in Hatfield where she met her husband, Robert.

Jean and Robert married on February 23 in 1957 at St Paul’s Church in Hatfield Road. Sadly Robert died aged 38 of cancer after only six years of marriage.

Her niece, Rachel Woollett paid tribute to her: “Jean would always babysit for her nieces and nephews. Jean would read many books onto audio tape so that her niece who had sight problems could listen to her favourite authors and stories.

“When her sister Marg’s health deteriorated Jean sold her house to buy a bungalow so they could live together and to care for her sister until Marg died in 1999.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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