Eileen Ludgate 1924-2006
Reprinted from Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 12 Autumn 2006
A great friend of Adrian Gibson, the well-known Clavering historian, Eileen M. Ludgate, died in July 2006 at the age of 81. In the 1970s-80s Eileen brought Adrian to Clavering, where he discovered the true antiquity of The Bury manor house, as a rare medieval aisled hall. Eileen, who came with her sister Joan to Stickling Green in 1958, was the author of two books, Clavering & Langley: the first 1000 Years and Clavering & Langley 1783-1983, which together form the first-ever chronology on the two villages. A former chairman of the Essex Congress of Archaeological & Historical Societies, for almost 20 years she organised the Clavering & Langley Local History Group from 1976-94. Previously she had a career in history teaching, then as Local History Recorder, gathered huge amounts of information, sharing it through exhibitions and lectures. As PCC secretary and then churchwarden, she arranged the restoration of the Clavering Church brasses, and saved the important Barlee memorials from destruction. The packed church at her funeral bore witness to the life of a diligent and scholarly historian, a great contributor to Clavering community and a much-loved friend, to whom I shall always be grateful for inspiring my love of local history. What a privilege it has been to have our lives touched by the likes of Adrian and Eileen who have both left us such an enduring legacy.