It’s with great sadness that I note the passing of my mother’s younger sister Vera, who died two weeks ago, aged 76, after a battle with cancer.

Vera Mabel Londors was born in East Ham in September 1934, the daughter of George John Londors (1896 – 1961) and Minnie Louisa Roe (1902 – 1987). (George was the son of George Londors and Sarah Shaw, and Minnie was the daughter of Joseph Priestley Roe and Eliza Bailey.) Vera married Colin Livett in 1960 and they had one son, Trevor (1963 – ). For a time, they lived near us in Chelmsford. After the marriage ended in divorce, Vera returned to live with her mother (my Nan) in Oakfield Road, East Ham. The house was finally sold a few years ago, thus severing a century-long tie between the Londors/Roe family and Oakfield Road, and Vera moved to a flat in Gants Hill.

For my brothers and me, she will always be ‘Auntie Vera’, a constant, loving presence in our lives, who looked after us when we were very young, and stayed with us every Christmas. We always used to say that the festive season only really began when, on Christmas Eve, Dad drove back from East Ham, with Nan, Vera and Trevor, and the house resounded with Vera’s cheery ‘Helloooo! Merry Christmas!’  In more recent years, seeing Vera at Christmas meant almost as much to our own children. She will be greatly missed.

The funeral is this Friday, 5th November, at St. Andrew’s church, Gants Hill, and afterwards at the crematorium of the City of London Cemetery, where Vera’s father – my maternal grandfather – worked as a gardener, and where many members of my family, on both sides, are buried.