Jeanne Margaret Nolder
Regular readers will miss the interesting and informative articles 01 historical interest concerning the village and on local wild life, both flora and fauna, written by Mrs Jeanne Nolder. She contributed in all but the first Anthology and attempted to awaken in others, an interest in the things about which, she cared so deeply.
Jeanne was born in Gloucester in 1912, the youngest of 3 daughters. Her mother and eldest sister were keen naturalists and their enthusiasm was passed on to her.
Married in September 1939 she came to live in Andover and had 2 children Janice and Gillian now both married with 6 children between them.
She never liked the town life but stayed there until the children left school and in 1961 had a house built at Wherwell. This was on the railway siding where there was no soil and it all had to be imported. This gave her the opportunity to design and plant the garden as she wanted it.
In 1967 she purchased an adjoining 14 acre of virgin railway line mainly to preserve the large quantity of unusual wild flowers and this has been preserved as a wild area ever since.
In 1961 she was one of the local "Field Botanists" who helped compile the Atlas of British Flora published by the British Botanical Society in 1962.
In 1977 she was the "Field Correspondent" for Wherwell in the preparation of the Hampshire Treasures published in 1978 by the Hampshire County Council.
She was a keen supporter of the National Trust but her favourite was the Hampshire and I.O.W. Naturalists Trust being a member of the local committee.
Shortly before her death she undertook, for the Church Authorities, to prepare a register of all the gravestones in Wherwell churchyard. She prepared the plan and marked all the gravestones on it but had to hand over the preparation of the register to other volunteers.
In November 1979 she was told she had about 3 months to live, 6 months if she was lucky. Fortunately she responded well to treatment and this and her determination kept her alive until September 1981.
She loved Wherwell and was at least fortunate in being able to end her life looking out over the garden she had made and tended for 20 years.
Jeanne Nolder's life was so full of her many interests and activities, that to try to do justice to it, in the small space available is obviously impossible. Jeanne loved life and saw the beauty and mystery of nature more readily than most. She was blessed with a wonderful husband and was well aware of this. Their deep love and respect for each other had increased during their forty years of marriage and was a joy to see.
Wherwell Anthology IX - First published August 1982