St Albans amateur musician dies after celebrating 90th birthday

Pat Warnes.

Pat Warnes. - Credit: Archant

A talented amateur musician from St Albans has died shortly after celebrating her 90th birthday.

Pat Warnes, who was born in Southend in 1927 and moved to St Albans in 1969 with her husband Harry and their four children, was well known in the city’s amateur music world. She wrote and performed musical accompaniments for shows put on by local organisations, including the Woodville Women’s Club in Fleetville, played piano from an early age, and as a young woman played in bands for dances.

Her husband Harry, who worked for Staples as a printer, died in 1985. Pat worked for the Womens Royal Voluntary Service, then between 1970 and 1987 did a range of secretarial temping jobs for the Post Office sorting office, the YHA, the Bishop of St Albans, the Bishop of Hertford, St Albans City Hospital, Hertfordshire Planning Department and M&S.

When she retired Pat worked as a volunteer in the Citizens Advice Bureau for 13 years, in their financial advice section. also becoming involved in supporting the Women’s Refuge.

In 2013 Pat moved from St Albans to Dunstable, and although she did not have room for a piano was able to take an electric keyboard with her and play for Salvation Army sing-along sessions.

As well as music, Pat enjoyed writing and public speaking, winning several national competitions. Her poem ‘Any Old Iron’ was published in the Daily Mail in 2011, and two collections of her writing have been published ‘...and I dreamed: A Collection of Poems’, and ‘Miss Jewel’s Whistling Teeth’ and Other Happy Memories: A Collection of Reminisces’.

Pat celebrated her 90th birthday at Ridgeway Lodge in Dunstable on April 7, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.