Funeral held for well-known local historian

First published in News

THE funeral has been held for a well-known Alcester local Historian Pauline Sands, who has died at the age of 77, several months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Ms Sands worked tirelessly on research into various aspects of Alcester’s history, her research into the Fulke Greville family, to her efforts to ensure that the construction of the A46 would take full archaeological advantage of opening land close to Botley Castle, a motte and bailey structure that had existed south of Alcester.

Ms Sands set up several exhibitions at Globe House into different research projects, but she was fiercely independent in her work, never joining any of Alcester’s local history groups.

Joy Pegrum from the Alcester and District Local History Society, worked with her on one of her projects.

She said: “We were frequently distracted from the task, one or other of us getting caught up in some history detective’s conundrum which would usually result in me going off to see what I could unearth online and Pauline writing one of her famous ‘academician’ (as she insisted on calling them) letters. I was privileged to work with her on the transcription of the will and inventory of Sir Fulke Greville, and we had a lot of fun hypothesising on the real facts of this great local man’s death, seemingly not at all as clear cut as history makes out.

“Time spent with Pauline was never dull. She was talented, creative, and dogged, and I loved to listen to the stories she never tired of telling, tales from her oh, so interesting but at times tough life and of course her own brand of history off the page, in which she brought the subjects of her research, the characters from Alcester’s past, to life in her own unique way. “

Ms Sands was a keen gardener, reviving Alcester’s annual Produce Show and launching the town’s gardening club. She also organised foraging trips into the woods with friends who were mycologists, searching for edible mushrooms and fungi.

David Moulson, president of the Local History Society, added: “She said to me that she had no regrets, she had a really good life, a really eventful life. She’d done a huge amount of work on the Fulke Grevilles of Warwick and Alcester, and when she knew she was terminally ill she wanted to get something in print on them. She’d done a fantastic amount of research, but it needs a lot of time spending on it now. I think her executor will do that now so I’m pleased about that. When Pauline tells you something there’s so much detail it’s a job to take it all in. There’s no doubt about that she’ll be fondly remembered.”

Ms Sands passed away on January 7.

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