Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Sidbury’s ‘tireless’ RBL secretary remembered

12:00 10 May 2014

Valerie Hull

Valerie Hull

Archant

Veterans, friends and family paid tribute to a ‘tireless and irreplaceable’ Sidbury resident as they looked back at her life last week.

Valerie Hull was the Sidford and Sidbury branch secretary of the Royal British Legion (RBL) into her later years, but she touched many lives before that.

With her husband Desmond she played host to the likes of the Red Arrows in their Orchardside restaurant, as well as a young James Last, who would go on to lead a world-famous orchestra.

But Valerie was ‘never one to sit still’, and she retired to become school governors secretary, a National Trust volunteer, a member of the conservative club and a keen painter.

Named after Valentine’s Day, she gained a reputation as a loving, overwhelmingly generous lady, with an energy that led her daughter Claire to nickname her ‘the Duracell battery’.

“Mum was always extremely hospitable, always involved in everything and so energetic,” said Claire. “Her going was totally unexpected, but she did everything at a fast pace. I would tell her to slow down but it just wasn’t in her makeup.”

Born and raised in Sidbury, Valerie passed her 11-plus to get into The King’s School before working as a personal assistant in London.

Valerie and Desmond built Orchardside as a guest house in 1961 before opening it as a restaurant in the seventies, where they were known for their home-cooked food.

They retired from Orchardside in 1987, moving to Exeter.

Desmond died in 1999, but Valerie continued in her usual busy way, and moved to Sidmouth’s Manor Road in 2006.

Speaking at her funeral at St Giles’ Church last Wednesday, Sir John Cave, the RBL Sidford and Sidbury branch president, said: “For these last six years she quite frankly ran the whole branch and we, officers and committee, fell in, and did as we were asked to enable the secretary to do so much more than was expected of just one individual.

“Valerie worked so hard for the branch and it is testament to her today that this church is so full, and particularly with British Legion members.

“Her roles will never be fulfilled by anyone else on their own; we will all miss her.’’

Valerie died on April 12 at the age of 81.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

16:37
(From L toRr) Laura Stevens and Gail Welsh, Exeter Sands Co-Chairs; Eiry Bladen, Midwife; Steph Maslin, Matron; and Debbie Stevens, Matron.

An Exeter-based stillbirth and neonatal death charity has made a generous donation of equipment designed to enable bereaved parents to spend more time with their babies.

Read more
16:08
Two people stroll into the path of a massive wave. Picture: Eve Mathews.

Big waves don’t deter walkers along Sidmouth seafront

Read more
19:30

Thanks to person who found debit card

Read more
13:54
Seth Lakeman

Organisers say only a few Super Early Bird tickets remain for Sidmouth’s famous week of festivities

Read more
12:53
Gale force winds brought tree down in Toadpit Lane on Monday forcing police to close the road

Highways teams work to clear aftermath of Storm Imogen

Read more
12:01
Proposed boundaries for the new West Hill Parish Council. The black outline is the boundary campaigners in favour of independence have put forward. The hatched parts are areas that EDDC is suggesting should remain part of Ottery Town Council, subject to further consultation.

District bosses look set to give the go-ahead to the next stage of a process which would see West Hill split from Ottery St Mary and form its own parish council.

Read more
How the gingko tree is set to move at Knowle

A beloved tree at Knowle will be relocated to make way for a retirement community if developers get the go-ahead – but how will they do it?

Read more
11:27
Ian Rosenblatt is the founder of the Branscombe Festival.

Event returns to village from July 29 - 31

Read more
Temple Street road closure. Ref shs 03-16AW 1234. Picture: Alex Walton

The closure of one of Sidmouth’s main artery roads has halved the takings in some shops because customers have ‘given up’ trying to reach the town, say concerned traders.

Read more
06:01
Claire Wright

County council watchdog to pressure MPs on austerity budget

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications