The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


Violet was born in Portsmouth in 1919 the youngest of three. She left school aged 14 with a glowing reference to take to her first job. She met her husband to be Nick at a dance and they became engaged, and were married in St Mary’s Church on 1st June 1940. They moved into a flat in North End but were soon to be parted when Nick was sent to help build the Mulberry Harbour in Southampton docks. The heavy bombing persuaded Violet to move back in with her parents Herbert and Ada and they all had to use the air raid shelter in the garden. Sadly her brother Arthur was killed in action in France in 1944 now reunited with their little brother Bertie who had died in childhood.

After the war in 1947 Carolyn was born. Violet often told the story of how as an excited mum to be she ordered a pram from Primmers in Kingston Road but when she collected it and pushed it home it wouldn’t go through the front door, so it had to go through the window! Nick made some adjustments to solve the problem and being a carpenter/joiner he also made a cot for Carolyn. This has since been used by all his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

In 1950 the family moved into their first house just across the road. Nick  had met brothers Frank and Tom Churchill at work and they became partners in a new venture in Waterlooville - Churchill’s Concrete Products. In 1953 Violet and Nick bought a plot of land in Avondale Road where their family bungalow was built. A lot of the work was carried out by Nick. In November 1954 the family were elated to finally move in, and they were befriended by the Atrill family who lived at number 16. Carolyn went to school with sisters Molly and Ruth Atrill. Ruth later married and became Ruth Loveman and was ordained.

Mrs Atrill introduced Violet to St George’s Church where her husband George was the organist and Harold Tate was the Vicar. Carolyn joined the choir and in 1955 Violet joined the Mothers’ Union and in 2005 received a certificate for 50 years membership. On March 13 1959 both Violet and Carolyn were confirmed.

In 1965 Carolyn and Tony were married by Rev Harry Gibson who subsequently christened both Violet’s Grandsons, Brian in 1969 and David in 1970. Violet was a very proud Grandmother and enjoyed knitting school jumpers for them both. She also knitted 100’s of squares making them into blankets for the Red Cross, The Rowans and various hospitals.

Every year from 1968 until 1972 Violet held a coffee morning in aid of the Building Fund for the new church. There were also bedding plants for sale which she and Nick grew in their conservatory.

Sadly Nick passed away peacefully at home on 1 December 1982. Violet was lost without him. Her family, friends and her faith kept her going and she joined many family holidays abroad, which involved her first flight and she loved all the family gatherings.

She was a keen member of the Sewing Circle and from 1986 until 1993 ran a needlework stall, at both the Summer Fete and the Christmas Bazaar. She knitted and sewed all year long making aprons, peg bags, soft toys, oven gloves, knitting bags, dolls clothes and embroidering pillow cases, the list was endless.

Also in 1986 she started arranging the flowers in the church porch. This she did weekly for ten years until 1996. By this time Brian had married Pam, Dave and Debbie were married and she later became Great-Grandmother to Hannah, Adam, Bradley and Hollie. She was devastated by Brian’s death in 2003 and Hannah’s in 2004 but she still held on to her faith. She was keen to support the Holiday Home Appeal set up in Hannah’s memory and was delighted when Pam married Colin and Grace was born in December 2006.

Sadly ill health started to take its toll. Having been in hospital for a month, in October 2009 Violet celebrated her 90th birthday with family in the family room in QA. The next day she moved into Woodlands Care Home in Lovedean Lane where she was cared for until a week before she died. On Wednesday 23rd February with Carolyn by her side she sadly passed away. Those hard working hands were finally still. She was a much loved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and friend and will be missed very much. She is at peace now and reunited with her beloved Nick and all those who have gone before her.

Easter Edition 2011

Vi Nicklen, 1919 - 2011