Joan Carter who played an important role in the Guild died last month.
” I knew of Joan and Gerry Carter long before I actually met them, having heard my old friend Ray Finch talk of them helping to fire the old kiln together at Winchcombe in the early days.
My first encounter with Joan was in 1974 in the T.Y. Club in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, in southern Africa, where we were all managing craft workshops and I was the new boy. Club members had warned me not to get between Gerry and his first brandy or to get stuck in a corner with him or you would be there all night but nobody told me just what a treat Joan was; quiet, gracious, demure and seemingly with a permanent smile in her eyes she was wonderful. Joan made everything so civilised wherever she was and whenever you met her. There was always a warm welcome with tea or something stronger in her riverside garden next to the weavery in Lesotho. The responses from the spinners, weavers and knitters trained there showed me their great respect for Joan’s gentle guiding hand and her constant care and attention to all those little finishing touches she passed on to them.
Joan was endlessly kind beyond measure and was always there to rescue me even when as on one occasion I had managed to pour an entire bottle of red wine over my best suit! Joan calmly took the suit away from me only to return it two days later pristine and pressed to perfection. Joan even crocheted a special mohair waistcoat for me that quite unbelievably kept me cool while driving all day in the african sun and when she and Gerry came to leave Lesotho she passed on to me all kinds of woven goods that made my little house there so much more comfortable and civilised. I still treasure those items.
It was only years later when I returned to England and joined the Guild that I was able to see Joan in her native habitat, in her garden at Tunley and could once again call in for tea or coffee sure of a generous welcome.
Joan looked after all of us. While it was no mean feat looking after Gerry, Joan nonetheless held us all together as treasurer for the Guild for many years (a real stickler for the last penny) and also managed to ensure that refreshments for Guild meetings were of sufficient quality and well presented yet again bringing that civilising hand to bear on everything she did.
A gracious lady and a delightful friend she did Georgina and I the greatest honour of visiting us many times to have tea with us and often in our garden. She is sadly missed but left us all a legacy of her graciousness. Thank you Joan.
To Bella and Andrew, you were blessed with a wonderful mother.”
Toff Milway – 19 August 2015.