Pat Thompson, 1949-2023

It is with great sadness and very fond memories that we have to report the sudden and unexpected death of Pat Thompson, a longstanding and enthusiastic member of the Club, in January 2023.

On this page we share some memories of and tributes to Pat from friends and fellow Club members.

Pat Thompson - tributes from friends and fellow members to a Club stalwart

In Buxton Field Club’s anniversary booklet celebrating 50 years of the Club, Pat Thompson wrote that her parents, her younger sister and herself joined the Field Club as a family when she was about 7 years old, and remained members for five years, before switching to Buxton Ramblers.   She remembered going to Club meetings in Terry’s Cafe – which was above the former Crowther’s estate agent.    She re-joined the Field Club after college in the early 1970’s and remained an active member until her unexpected death in 2023.   

In photographs, largely taken by Derek Alsop, Pat can be seen on summer walks, weekends away and celebrating significant Field Club anniversaries.     As with many other societies she belonged to, she was quick to volunteer and held both the position of Secretary for a number of years and also President on two occasions.     Over many years of evening meetings she could often be found volunteering in the kitchen to help provide the mid-talk refreshments.   She was a valued committee member.

The Field Club newsletter was started in the late 1970’s and Pat often wrote an article on something she had seen or done, or some subject she had researched.  Most issues in the last few years had a contribution from Pat, which arrived unannounced, met the deadline and were always welcome.     

Due to health issues she had to give up walking with the Ramblers, and eventually found Field Club walks too difficult, especially over uneven terrain.     However she remained cheerful and positive and took a lively interest in some of the new things the Club was involved in such as the wildflower meadows in the Serpentine and at Poole’s Cavern, and supporting campaigns such as fighting development at Hogshaw.    

Not being a driver, Pat was always appreciative of lifts that enabled her to get to out of the way places or to attend events in the evenings in Buxton, although she never let a dark and wintry night put her off, not looking for lifts but accepting gratefully if they were offered.      

Pat was a good friend to many, and will be much missed.

Ruth Hayter.

When I first joined the Club and then the Committee, as its Chair, Pat was its Secretary. She was a charming and friendly person, always cheerful and a pleasure to know and work with. She was also a determined and active member and campaigner for nature. I will miss her.

David Purchase.

Fond Memories of Pat Thompson.

Pat & I were in the same year at Cavendish Grammar School From 1962.

We had to wear a uniform which included a tie & a smart felt hat which could only be purchased from a ‘posh’ school outfitters in Cavendish Circus. (They had the monopoly)

If we were seen walking home without wearing our hat or eating in the street (or both) we were put in detention.

I recently discovered an old school magazine from 1962 in a charity shop & passed it on to Pat as there was content that caused us to laugh out loud, along with one of Pat’s poems. (Other poems have familial links to Field Club members, Judith Thorpe & Rosemary Furness.) 

Of course, being young & some of the first to benefit from the post WWII Labour Government’s Education Act, we initially just took everything for granted. Later, as adolescents, the scandal of the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover caused a sensation at school when a group of friends were discovered reading it on the Hockey Field (more detentions).

The wearing of our CND badges was also prohibited. Some of us swapped the regulation Gabardine Mac for a navy-blue duffle coat.

I lost touch with Pat when she went to university, then we resumed our friendship via our opposition to the plans submitted by Nestle Buxton Water to install a water supply pipe through Cunningdale SSSI, also the Green Party, Extinction Rebellion & Buxton Field Club.

I will always remember Pat with deep affection, she was very brave, always kind, considerate & willing to challenge those who intended to damage Nature.

We had great fun reminiscing about our school days as we worked together to prepare & serve the ‘Half Time Refreshments’ at our Field Club events.

Sheila Stubbs.

I have very fond memories of Pat: of her kindness and efficiency when I was chairing the Field Club, her companionship on walks and many conversations when I have bumped into her.

May she rest in peace.

Marion Overton.

 

[We] recall Pat and her wonderful contributions on Zoom during the BFC ‘lockdown’ meetings – one of the things that made those meetings unique and enjoyable beyond the talks themselves.

Peter and Margaret Croft.