Tributes to Fowey's 'Iron lady'
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
The town has been in mourning following the news that Hilda Court died at the end of July.
Hilda, who played a central role in public life in the town for more than 40 years, died peacefully in her sleep on July 28 at hospital in St Austell. Her death came following a spell where she had been in failing health.
Now people who knew Hilda have been queuing up to pay tribute to her.
She had been a servant to the town over many years, having been elected mayor of the town on four separate occasions - as well as serving as mayor of the former Restormel Borough Council in the early 1980s.
Lifelong Conservative Hilda was appointed an MBE in 1985 and was known as Fowey's Iron lady, a tribute to her no-nonsense attitude which mirrored that of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Despite her allegiance to the Conservative's Hilda always stood for office as an independent, as she felt doing so would always allow her to speak her mind and represent her constituents views - even when they conflicted with those of her party.
Born in Doncaster, Hilda moved to Fowey in 1955 when her husband Clem (who she met during the war when she found a letter he'd written in a library book) became manager of the town's WH Smith store.
Having moved to the town Hilda joined Fowey council in 1963 and was a member of the local borough council for 26 years, eventually standing down in 1999.
As well as being a councillor Hilda was also a governor of Fowey's primary and secondary schools, a trustee of the town museum, harbour commissioner and chairman of the Fowey Port Health Authority.
County Councillor Malcolm Brown served alongside Hilda and said she had a great sense of humour, despite her no-nonsense reputation.
"Hilda would speak with great authority and often came across as formidable, but she did have a great sense of humour, and was never as serious as she sometimes came across," he said.
Mr Brown added how many of Hilda's colleagues on the bodies she served were "in awe of her" and respected her greatly.
Another public figure to pay tribute to Hilda was her successor as chairman of Fowey Museum, Helen Luther.
"What you saw was what you got with Hilda," she said. "She was a fiercely loyal, outspoken and opinionated woman with a wicked sense of humour but who also offered wise counsel and was widely respected."
With Hilda's funeral having taken place last week, here at our Golant hotel we thought it only right to pay a small tribute to a woman who helped serve the area we sit in for so long.
May you rest in peace Hilda.