It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of former trustee Betty Bower, aged 96, who was found in Collett Park pond on Saturday morning.

Betty retired as a trustee of the almshouses in 2014, having been a trustee for 53 years, as was her father before her.

Betty was born in Charlton Road in 1923 and had a sister and two brothers. She was educated at Wells Blue School and all the family loved music. Betty moved to Kyte Road, where her father had built several houses, in 1937. Her first job was at the National Deposit Friendly Society based at Kilver Court.

In 1943 she joined the ATS at Ambrosden near Bicester and sang in the choir at the Anglican Church. She returned to civilian life in 1946. Although her job at the Friendly Society had been kept open for her, she left and worked for Mr Poles, Headmaster of the Boys School in Waterloo Road. The Boys and Girls amalgamated in 1947, and in 1960 a section of the school transferred to Charlton Road. On the opening of Whitstone School in 1965 she remembered how she and the caretaker moved all the office equipment. She was to remain a School Secretary for 36 years, retiring in 1983. Generations of schoolchildren remember her.

Betty was always a keen gardener and her own garden was kept beautifully. She spent many hours playing the organ both in the Methodist Church in Paul Street and in the Parish Church. She was a member of Shepton Mallet Choral Society for more than 50 years.


Betty Bower