Published 6 March 2019
Ivy Butcher, a much-loved villager, passed away after a short illness on the 3rd March at Hoar Cross Nursing Home at the age of 102. Ivy was born at Victory Farm, Kings Bromley, in 1916. Her father, John Jefferies, a farmer, had once been a coachman to the Lane family at Kings Bromley Hall and her mother was lady’s maid to the Hon. Mrs. Grace Lane. In 1928 the family moved to Eastfields. She attended the Richard Crosse School and left at the age of 15. Having been marked out as a bright girl, the wife of the headmaster had given her shorthand lessons and the vicar gave her the use of a typewriter and in 1931 she got a secretarial job with a subsidiary of the Selfridges company in London. She always said that it was Hitler who finished her secretarial career as she and her uncle, with whom she was living, moved back to Kings Bromley to avoid the air raids and because of his ill health. Not one to let the grass grow under her feet, she joined the Lancashire County Hospital as a nurse, a job she really enjoyed. Moving back to Kings Bromley after the war to look after her ageing father, she took a part- time secretarial post in Lichfield. David Butcher, a demobbed soldier, who was working at Woodshoot Nursery, lodged with the family and in 1952 Ivy and David Butcher married.
Ivy was a founder member of the Kings Bromley Historians and the Gardening Guild and for years was secretary of the Horticultural Society, which ran the Village Show, seeing it through some difficult times. She was also very active within the Church, the Parochial Church Council and the ladies’ group that looked after the flowers in the Church. She published six books on local history and in 2008 received The Local History Award for Personal Achievement from the British Association for Local History. She was able to establish contact with the descendants of the Lane family, who had left the Village and the Manor in 1928, and recovered from them huge quantities of archive material which is now held at the Staffordshire Record Office and the Kings Bromley Historians Archive. Ivy had a razor-sharp mind and memory right up to the end and was the go-to oracle for any information about the village.
Unfortunately, David died in 1993 and they had no children. It was a mark of the love and respect that the village had for her that in 2016 a celebration of her 100th birthday was held in the Village Hall, which was one of the biggest events that had occurred in the village for years. In January of this year Kings Bromley Historians had a photo taken of her by Simnetts of Burton, who had taken the one of her as a child nearly 100 years previously.