Village stalwart had ‘great sense of duty’

Margaret Goldsmith SUS-180523-084505001
Margaret Goldsmith SUS-180523-084505001

The funeral of a Willingdon stalwart was held at St Mary’s Church on May 14 with many friends and representatives of the organisations on which she served.

Margaret Goldsmith died on April 10 at the age of 95. She was born in Eastbourne and attended Eastbourne High School for Girls. Aged 11 she joined the 42nd Willingdon Girl Guides, where she later became captain and maintained a lifelong connection.

On leaving school in 1940, she joined her elder sister at Barclays Bank. A fire warden for the Bank during the war, she remembered finding a search team digging to rescue her after a bomb hit the branch on a Sunday at 1pm.

However, it missed her as she arrived at 1.15pm due to a limited Sunday bus service from Willingdon. Remembered by colleagues as very able, she was quickly promoted and after being a member of staff at Barclays’ Wimbledon Training centre, she advised Branches throughout the UK on updating systems before becoming one of the first female bank managers running Barclays’ Polegate Branch for many years until her retirement in 1979.

Margaret had a strong sense of communal duty for Willingdon and leadership ability. She served as a parish councillor for more than 30 years and as a district councillor on Hailsham Rural District Council (now Wealden) and as chairman for both.

She was a committee member of the Willingdon Memorial Hall for more than 70 years; a school governor of Willingdon Primary School for more than 30 years; a member of the Order of St John, President of St John Ambulance Willingdon Cadet Division and a member of the Royal British Legion. She joined the Willingdon WI in 1946 and was a very active member and chairman of the Willingdon Branch of Eastbourne Conservatives.

She was generous to villagers whether providing guidance over financial matters, prizes for Parish competitions, support for village projects and had a great sense of duty to others.