Tributes pour in for Hilda Eastley

‘Outspoken’ Hilda Eastley, from Lympstone, has died aged 81. Hilda was known for championing many causes in a bid to improve village life.

Throughout her life Hilda, of Underhill Crescent, had been passionate about helping others and this was evident in the work she did serving the people of East Devon in her role as parish and district councillors.

She sat on Lympstone parish council for a number of years and also represented Exmouth’s Halsdon ward as a district councillor.

The great-grandmother-of-four was known for her outspokenness and dedication to any cause she championed.

Never one to let red tape or authorities thwart her drive and determination, you could be confident of Hilda’s support to the end once she backed a project.

Some of her successes include securing sewage screening in the River Exe at Lympstone and the installation of traffic lights at the Saddlers junction, along the A376.

Latterly Hilda spoke out about the need for an A376 by-pass, from Exeter to Exmouth.

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Husband Richard Eastley said: “She upset a lot of people. She was outspoken. She said a lot of things that people didn’t want to hear.

“She wasn’t from Yorkshire but she was very Yorkshire in her attitude. A spade was a spade – or a shovel.

“When she had a project, she was single-minded. Nothing else mattered until that was sorted out.”

Much-loved wife of Richard, mum-of-three Hilda dedicated her life to Lympstone and its residents.

She was chairman of the village’s Britain in Bloom committee for eight years – Hilda personally scooped the best garden display several more than once.

Keen to encourage a love of flowers in the younger generation, for the last 18 years she sponsored a floral shield at Lympstone Primary School.

Hilda grew up during the Second World War working on her parent’s farm where at the age of 13 she drove tractors. She later contributed to the BBC war archives with her experiences.

She met her beloved husband, Richard, when she was just 15 years old. The pair was married for 63 years and has eight grandchildren.

During her lifetime Hilda was a nurse at Budleigh Salterton Hospital. She also was a Milk Marketing Board inspector, where she spent her days visiting farms.

A keen supporter of Barnardo’s children’s charity, Hilda once met Princess Diana through her work with the cause.

Hilda was a member of several local choirs and loved singing. Husband Richard said she had a ‘beautiful’ voice.

Hilda May Eastley, who died on August 24 2010, is survived by her husband and two daughters.

Her funeral will be held at Lympstone Parish Church, on Friday September 3, at 3pm.