Farewell to St Albans Civic Society’s Jackie

ST ALBANS: City stalwart Jackie Wilshere, who was secretary of the Civic Society for over a decade, has died aged 82.

Jackie, a keen potter whose work included such items as plates, bowls and jugs, was secretary of the Civic Society between 1978 and 1989, during which period the society was closely involved with the outcry over the Chequer Street development which was to become the Maltings shopping centre.

She was also involved in the setting up of the Young People’s Arts Centre, became secretary of the Honorary Guides and more than two decades later, took on the role of secretary of the Herts Organic Gardeners.

Born in Hampstead, Jackie moved around a lot in her childhood as her father was a naval constructor. She married Chris Wilshere in 1953 and seven years later the couple moved to a house in Hall Place Gardens, St Albans.

By that time Jackie had three children – Anne, Charles and Jill – and a busy social life but that did not stop her becoming involved in the Civic Society both as an active member and secretary.

Jackie was a principal and active supporter of the Young People’s Arts Centre which opened in 1970 and ran for nearly five years, providing activities such as painting, drawing, singing and drama for youngsters. She also served as secretary of the Honorary Guides between 1966 and 1971, taking on the role in only its second year of existence.

Her membership of the Herts Organic Gardeners began in the early 1990s where she also became secretary. She had a long interest in gardening and by that time the family had moved to London Road, St Albans, where she had a considerably bigger, south-facing garden to nurture.

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As well as all her other activities, Jackie enjoyed cooking and entertaining as well as being keen on sewing – to the extent that a whole room in her house was given over to her hobby.

Together with her husband and three children, Jackie leaves four grandchildren. Her funeral was held this week.