Jean Marjorie Davy
DescriptionJean was noted for her quiet charm, determination and dedication to public service. She also had a talent for organising and motivating people.
A native of Staffordshire, Jean nee Clayton came to Crowthorne in 1937 with her first husband, Charles Baker (1907-1951), a master at Wellington College whom she married in 1937. They had three children: Gillian, now Mrs. Houghton (b. 1943), Francis (b. 1944) and Peter (b. 1946). After Charles’s death she moved to Wokingham and married Colin Davy (1903-1962), a local solicitor in 1953.
In 1955 she started the Wokingham and Bracknell Society for Mentally Handicapped Children. A year after Colin’s death, Jean became a Magistrate in Bracknell, serving on the Forest bench until 1985 and as chairman for four years.
When Jean was Mayor, she created her brainchild—Wokingham and District Association for the elderly (W.A.D.E.). In 1968 she launched an appeal for £50,000-£60,000 to equip a day centre for the newly-created W.A.D.E. Welfare Centre. She then turned the Town Hall fire station into a W.A.D.E. charity shop with £200 of council cash. In February 1971 WADE meals on wheels commenced and, after more tireless lobbying, she and Alfred Skedgel arranged for WADE to purchase a council property on the Reading Road called Little Court. In may 1974, after much renovation, Little Court was officially opened as a day centre for the elderly which daily looks after approximately 80 elderly Wokingham residents. A plaque to commemorate the founding of Wokingham and District Association for the Elderly by Jean, was unveiled at Little Court on the 4th April 1986 by Major John L. Wills, High Steward of Wokingham.
In addition to her civic duties, Jean was chairman of the governors at West Mead special school for handicapped children; chairman of Keephatch Junior School; a governor of Holme Grange School.
Jean’s years of service to the community were recognised in February of 1981 when she was awarded the M.B.E.
Jean finally retired from public life in 1986 and moved to Haddenham in Buckinghamshire to be nearer her grandchildren.She was made an Honorary Freeman in 1986. A few months later she underwent surgery for a brain tumour and on the 19th of February 1987 she died at the St. Michael Sobell Hospital House Hospice in Oxford. Her funeral was held at All Saints Church in Wokingham. Davy Close, off Carey Road was named in her memory.
In the photograph of her receiving the M.B..E outside Buckingham Palace are Maurice Houghton. her son-in-law and her daughter Gillian.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1947 - 1979, by J Bell.
Honorary Freeman of Wokingham, by J. Bell
“Jean Marjorie Davy,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 22, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0122.