Obituary of Christine Lillington

March 01 2019
Tribute to a South Bristol stalwart

CHRIS Lillington, a volunteer administrator of the unique University of Withywood, has died aged 83. She represents a rare generation who lived all their life in one parish. With her husband, Michael, she gave much to the community of South Bristol.

 

Christine Ann Lillington 1935-2019  

CHRIS Lillington, a volunteer administrator of the unique University of Withywood, has died aged 83. She represents a rare generation who lived all their life in one parish. With her husband, Michael, she gave much to the community of South Bristol.  

From an early age, Chris was a photographer and some of her photography and her poems have been published in the Bristol Evening Post.  

Born in Valley Road, Bedminster Down, as a young girl she loved to go for picnics with friends, or to go with the milkman on his rounds on a Saturday morning.  

She met Mike when she was a teenager and they went on cycle rides.

She trained as a secretary and joined Bristol Womens' Cricket Club.She played two seasons but said that when she dropped a catch at mid-off at Cheltenham Ladies College, that was the end of her cricketing career!   

Chris and Mike were married in July 1957 at St Oswald’s Church, Bedminster Down, with a guard of honour from the Scout band.  

For most of the 1950s Chris and Mike’s lives centred around scouting. They met the famous Ralph Reader, founder of the Gang Shows.  

Their small house in Headley Park was filled with their four children Ian, Ann, Matthew and Kay. Once they were all at school, Christine started a home-business making hot pants. The dining table and floors were covered with patterns and pins and rolls of brightly coloured Crimplene.  

Chris took a part time job as the administrator of the National Federation of City Farms. She helped the Federation develop and build a new hub next to the city farm, where it continues today. She also did admin for her husband and sons as they started their own businesses, moving from a manual typewriter, to word processor and later a computer.   

Grandchildren arrived, and this proud grandma would travel to visit them - even to Australia soon after her second grandson’s birth. 

Chris took on volunteer roles in the Malago Society, and then the University of Withywood, becoming the unpaid full-time assistant to legendary South Bristol historian Anton Bantock. Anton sent ragged bundles of paperwork from all corners of the globe recording his travel adventures, in tiny script, which Christine transcribed. From the 1990s to 2014, the charity raised £250,000, which all went directly to help with the education of young people in developing countries.   

On a beautiful summer’s day in July 2017, 100 people gathered to celebrate Chris and Mike’s 60th wedding anniversary.  Hosted in the Lillington-landscaped back garden at Grange Road, family and friends celebrated a wonderful life-long relationship.   

Known as Mum, Christine, Mrs L, Chris – mother of four children and doting grandmother to seven boys and three girls; and great-grandmother to Max.  She will be greatly missed. Martin Powell