In memoriam, Mavis Batey and Ted Fawcett

Posted on November 22nd, 2013 by Charles Boot
Mavis Batey and Ted Fawcett at our party for Mavis's 90th birthday, held at Petworth House which, as Mavis went on to remind us, was the site of a celebrated victory by the GHS when a by-pass was proposed to go through Petworth's 'Capability' Brown designed parkland setting. Photo by Steffie Shields

Mavis Batey and Ted Fawcett at our party for Mavis's 90th birthday, held at Petworth House which, as Mavis went on to remind us, was the site of a celebrated victory by the GHS when a by-pass was proposed to go through Petworth's 'Capability' Brown designed parkland setting. Photo by Steffie Shields

You will probably by now have seen the reports of the recent deaths of Mavis Batey MBE (5 May 1921 to 12 November 2013) and Ted Fawcett OBE (2 September 1920 to 19 October 2013).
They both had distinguished war records, Mavis as a code breaker at Bletchley Park, and Ted with the Royal Navy. And, some years later, both went on to be very important figures in the story of The Garden History Society. Mavis served as honorary secretary to the GHS from 1971 to 1985, and was our president from 1985 to 2000, whilst Ted served several terms as our chairman, and was elected a vice president of the GHS in 2010.

They remained active supporters of the GHS to the end, with Mavis having signed off the new Conservation Plan for Bletchley Park, compiled by Dr Sarah Rutherford, in the last few months.

Mavis and Ted played a large role in welcoming younger generations into the GHS, helping make it the friendly Society that we all know it to be. Our picture shows them deep in conversation at Petworth House, at the wonderful party we held for Mavis’s 90th birthday, in 2011.

Our recent newsletter GHS news 94 provides full and heart-felt tributes to these two great garden historians, who between them did so much to set up the structure for the protection and study of so many of our historic parks, gardens and other designed landscapes

Earlier tributes to Mavis and Ted appeared in other issues of GHS news, to Mavis in GHS News 87 Spring 2011, p18, and to Ted in issue GHS News 86 Summer 2010, p12.

The most recent edition of our journal Garden History, enclosed in our December 2013 mailing, was dedicated ‘to the memory of these two much-loved garden historians: Mavis Batey (1921–2013) and Ted Fawcett (1920–2013)’.


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