Donate in memory of
BarbaraSt Christopher's Hospice
- Honor Oak Crematorium Brockley Way SE23 3RD
- 17th Jul 2017
- Funeral Director
- F.A. Albin Walworth
- Royal British Legion9, Barry RoadEast DulwichSE22 0HR
- 17th Jul 2017
Barbara Jean West
Barbara Jean West was born on the 19thof April 1950. She was the third of five children born to Harry and Lil Howard, having two older brothers Sid and Terry and younger sisters Pat and Ann.
Barbara was born and spent her early years in Weavers Lane, near Tooley Street before the family moved to Bromley where Barbara attended Forster Park primary school and then Malory where she completed her education. Barbara was close to both sisters and Pat recalls spending lots of time with her eldest sister as they were growing up.
Barbara and Peter met in their teens and later married in St Luke’s church Northover, in March 1968. Apparently on the morning of the wedding Barbara was on the back of brother Terry’s bike going to collect her new glasses!!!
They began married life in a small flat where I am told that they shared a bedroom with sisters Pat and Ann!!!!
Their daughters Tereasa and Angela were born in the 1970s and although Peter and Barbara separated in the late 70s they have remained on good terms.
Barbara was a single parent for some time and was an exceptionally loving mother, easy going and patient and a very hardworking lady. She provided a warm and comfortable home, put her children first always and they never went without. She was most certainly a grafter, working as a seamstress, employed in a newsagent and often doing more than one job at the same time, going out as a cleaner in the mornings and later in the evenings working as a barmaid. Her mental arithmetic was excellent and this certainly helped her behind the bar as well as managing the family budget. Despite her small build Barbara often lugged beer barrels at the William The Fourth in Albany Rd Camberwell.
Barbara enjoyed knitting and sewing and made many of the children’s clothes including a puffball skirt and Angela recalls her mum making her school uniform because they were unable to buy one small enough. Throughout her life she rarely spent money on herself. Her children were always her number one priority and although money may have been in short supply the girls wanted for nothing. Angela and Tereasa remember so many good times, going to East Street market with their mum and of having pie and mash in the well-known Arments in Walworth.
Her delicious slow roast lamb for Sunday lunch also deserves a mention.
Barbara was immensely proud of her family. She was a loving grandmother to Tereasa’s five children. Kayleigh Jane, her first grandchild; Elizabeth, Harry, Emilie and Ruby and to Angela’s two boys Kurtis and Tayler. Also a very proud great grandmother to Kayleigh Jane’s children. Lillie-May, Daniel, Cameron and Finley-Jay. We remember today Kayleigh’s precious first born, baby Faith, who although she only lived for a short while, was loved and cherished and will now have her very special time with her nanny.
All the children adored their nanny and her little sayings such “ I love you up to the ceiling”. She would often help Tayler with his homework whilst she was living with Angela. The grandchildren have described her as clever, funny, patient, wise, caring and happy and little Ruby particularly loved her saying “ love you lots, like jelly tots”.
In 1998 Barbara moved to Brookehowse rd in Bellingham and acquired her first garden. She became very knowledgeable about gardening and could recognise and name a wide variety of plants and flowers.
Barbara enjoyed the company of good friends Maureen and Frank, also Carole and was fond of a game of cards, Blackjack was a favourite and she also enjoyed the occasional game of cribbage.
When Barbara did treat herself, she would shop at Next, where she was able to buy clothes to fit her petite frame. Tereasa and Angela tell me that their mum was very particular about her footwear. It had to be white Reebok Classic trainers, nothing else would do and when one pair had worn out then another identical pair would swiftly replace them!
Barbara lived with sister Pat for a while in 2005 before buying her house in Stowmarket Suffolk. She worked at a temporary job in AXA before getting a permanent position handling computer data .Despite enjoying her work Barbara missed her children and grandchildren far too much and so moved back to London.
Sadly in 2009 Barbara was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her illness she displayed a tremendous amount of courage. Barbara faced the news in a matter of fact way and she remained active, determined and independent. During the times of her surgery she lived with Angela and received treatment at Guys and St Thomas’ hospital.
During the last couple of years Barbara had moved back to Langdale Close, Walworth, very near to where she was born. Despite the seriousness of her diagnosis she was determined to continue to have fun with her family and there were several family trips on riverboats, visiting the London Eye and some enjoyable trips to Southend. Family holidays at her caravan at Camber Sands allowed Barbara to do what she most loved. Being with her family. She was determined to be out of hospital in order to spend Christmas 2016 at Angela’s home and to be with her beloved family.
Towards the end of her illness Barbara spent time at St Christopher’s Hospice at Sydenham where she was much loved and respected by the staff. Barbara was never one to complain, she was often reluctant to call on a nurse in case they were too busy or dealing with somebody else. She did not like to bother anybody. A truly selfless lady who for her entire life put others before herself. Her strength in dealing with her illness was an inspiration to all.
Her family visited constantly and her youngest granddaughter Ruby remembers these visits with love. They were in Ruby’s words “snuggle buddies”.
It was with great sadness that the family had to say goodbye to this tremendously kind and much loved sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Barbara died on the 10th June 2017 after a very long battle with her illness. Her loved ones by her side, surrounded by love. The family would like to thank the staff at St Christopher’s Hospice for their care and devotion to Barbara.
She will be remembered always as a very special lady who had a deep love for her family and was rewarded with their undying love and respect.