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Norah Powell

Miss Nora Powell, died 16th of December 1975


Nora Cecil Wale Powell was born in Little Shelford Hall on 6th May 1888. Her mother was Cecil Henrietta Wale, the third daughter of Colonel Hobart Gregory Wale. Norah’s mother married the Reverend Harcourt Morley Powell, Vicar of Wollaston a village in Northamptonshire. They lived there until 1914 when he died.


On the outbreak of war Nora worked in the Ministry of Agriculture. After the war she decided to take up moral welfare work and she was one of the first student in the Josephine Butler Home in Liverpool where she went on to do this work for some years.


Then, in 1923, Nora came to Shelford to look after her aunt Mildred who was married to Col Timothy Wood and she lived with them at Low Brooms in High Street. Her mother was also living here at the Studio Cottage where she died. From 1923 until her death Nora lived in the village.


On the death of her aunt Mildred Nora inherited the Hall, the Lodge, a number of cottages and much land which thus came down to her from her grandfather. This brought her much responsibility, particularly to her tenants. In the 1920s there was still poverty and many social problems. Nora’s early training, together with her Christian upbringing and her generous nature, enabled her to do much good for many who needed help. She did much for the older people following her mother who, by inviting the old people to her house regularly, was the founder of our Cecil Club. Norah was its President when she died. She was also a supporter of the Village Hall and was a Trustee. She was a member of the Parish Council and for many years its Chairman.


After the second war Nora decided to dispose of some of her inherited property for the benefit of other people and one of four great benefactions was the gift of our recreation ground to the village, where our Cricket Club has played for over one hundred years. This gift has brought much pleasure to all of us especially to the children.


Apart from the official positions which Norah held in the village which enabled her to use her wise influence in a public capacity she also privately and quietly did much kindly and generous work which only those who benefited knew about. By nature she was a humble person, though where Christian principles were concerned she could be firm and outspoken.


Besides being, through inheritance the head of the village, Norah was through her character in a way also its heart. We all felt supported by her warmth. In the same way the sincerity of her religious belief supported this church where she was a regular and a devout worshipper. Her ashes lie in the churchyard on her mother’s and her brother, Robin’s grave.


For all of us who knew her Norah was a warm friend, full of humour, generosity and human understanding. She has been and will be missed for a long time. At this moment our thoughts and sympathy go out especially to her brother and to other members of the family who are here today.


(Lt. Shelford Church  …  )