Frank and Freda, Sidmouth’s ‘formidable’ double act


A ‘formidable’ Sidmouth couple who died 10 days apart have been remembered as busy individuals who took great pride in their adopted town.

Freda 'Freddie' Hayward was a retired dance teacher and a member of the WI.

Freda 'Freddie' Hayward was a retired dance teacher and a member of the WI. - Credit: Archant

Frank and Freda ‘Freddie’ Hayward grew up in Kent, meeting through a mutual friend when Frank began helping at his future wife’s dance school.

The couple, who were married for 56 years, retired to Malvern Road Sidmouth in 1993, but soon jumped into community life with Frank taking up a post on Sidmouth Town Council and Freddie joining the WI.

Freddie died at the age of 90 on June 18 in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Frank, who had been diagnosed with cancer in February died on June 28 in Sidmouth Hospital.

Their eldest daughter Jill said: “Only they could retire twice.

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“When dad found out mum had died, he accepted that he could let go and he could go to, he had been trying to look after mum. It was reaching crisis point and he was adamant that could look after her. It was only 10 days between their deaths, he knew mum was ok and she cared for. It was a great passion for him, they were not over demonstrative.

“They were a formidable double act, and it seems fitting that they should leave us in the same way.”

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While living in Maidstone the couple produced and performed in local shows for nearly three decades including an annual pantomime.

Their love for the arts continued when they moved to Sidmouth, often watching the town band performing in Connaught Gardens.

Jill said: “Dad was the ideal boy scout, if he could find a way of doing things he would.”

The son of a police officer, Frank was one of first five National Servicemen to train as a pilot, having been leading cadet of 741 ATC Squadron on his call-up. On return to civilian live he worked in insurance.

Jill recalled her mother had always had a love of dance and theatre.

“She danced from a very earlyage, she anted to go into the theatre but I think my grandfather did not approve, so she did the nexty best thing and she had her own school that started in 1948.”

Sidmouth Town Council held a minutes silence on Monday to remember Frank.

The couple leave two daughters, Jill and Sally, and three grandchildren, Megan, Ryan and Emily.

A service will be held for both Frank and Freddie at East Devon Crematorium at 2.30pm on Wednesday, July 13

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