Obituary: Wendy Hamblin (née Spence)

Wendy Hamblin (née Spence)
(OE 1933-1945)

Born 5 October 1927, died 31 May 2020

Wendy grew up in Kenley, and her elder sister Joan and younger sister Sheila both attended Eothen too.  Although they lived close to Caterham, the daily train journey was deemed too risky during the war, so all three sisters became weekly boarders.  Wendy was the kind of person to excel at everything she did, becoming Head Girl in 1945, captaining the netball team and later acting as Treasurer of the EOGA.  When the school suffered an incendiary bomb attack, Wendy organised the fire-fighting, evacuating the girls from their beds and operating the stirrup pump to extinguish the flames.

She met her husband, Keith, on the tennis court, and sport of various kinds was to be a great passion for both of them for many years.  She was a very successful racing driver, winning numerous trophies during the 1950s and 60s.  She also had a successful career as an ophthalmologist, and helped Keith with the Hamblin family business, C&H Fabrics.  She was a founding member of the Social Democrat party in 1981, and maintained an interest in the Lib Dems, helping with local and national election campaigns.  After the motor racing days were over, she and Keith took to motor boating, and provided many very happy outings for family and friends.  She and Keith lived in Warlingham throughout their married life.

To quote from one of the tributes at Wendy’s funeral,

“She was the most fantastic female role model: she was strong, capable, determined and articulate and she held onto all these attributes throughout her life…  And she had strong views on social justice and equality of opportunity.”

She was also the most wonderful wife, sister, daughter, aunt, great-aunt and friend to many people, and is much missed.   She is survived by her husband, Keith.

Written by her niece, Lynnet Williams