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24th Feb 2024

Barbara Titmuss' funeral service and eulogy

It was a thankfully dry spell during the afternoon on Friday 23rd February when we attended the funeral of our friend and bowler, Barbara Titmuss, at Forest Park crematorium.

During the service a eulogy was read out on behalf on Barbara's daughter Carole-Anne, for those who missed it, it is reproduced below. Both the funeral service and the celebration of Barbara's life afterwards were very well attended which was a reflection of the great regard in which Barbara was held, she truly was a very kind and gentle lady and we will miss her greatly.

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to one of Barbara's favourite charities in her memory, they were the RSPCA, London Air Ambulance and Blue Cross (dogs charity).

RIP Barbara.

Barbara Titmuss
Barbara Titmuss


Barbara was born on 4 March 1944 at home in Crescent Road Dagenham to Winifred and Bob. The youngest sister to Valerie and Gordon and shortly to become an older sister to Steven. All 4 children were born in the same bed!

Growing up the 4 children were very close and this continued throughout their adult life.

During their childhood they were like the original Bash Street gang with many games played in the street, cricket, football, British bulldog, French skipping with the elastics, kerbsie, marbles and learning to juggle to name a few!

Born with a mischievous streak also meant that her and Gordon would often play tricks on Steven. Steven recalls Barbara enjoyed tormenting him often!! Being the youngest, he was first to bed. He would lay there frightened as there was often a strange tapping on the wall. Being scared of what it may be, he would tap back to prove to whoever/whatever it was that he was friendly. He eventually plucked up courage one night to investigate and discovered Barbara & Gordon leaning out of an upstairs window and tapping on the wall with a long stick. They thought it was hilarious, but poor Steven wasn't amused. Her idol in those days was the pop singer Adam Faith. Steven sought revenge and drew a moustache and glasses on the posters of her idol, Adam Faith. She wasn't best pleased! He signed it from the Black Hand Gang which became a running joke within the family.

One memory that Barbara spoke about and Gordon recalled just the other day was when they told their parents they were going for a bike ride to Hainault but actually cycled all the way to Southend and back. To prove that they had done it they each bought back a stick of rock! When they arrived back home it was dark and the whole of the street were out looking for them!

Always the rebel Barbara would often coerce both her big and little brothers to play truant from Sunday school and spend the collection money on sweets!

She attended Hunters Hall Primary School and was bright enough to pass the 11 plus exam which gained her entry to Robert Clack.

After leaving school she had several jobs working in the cinema at the Heathway as an usherette and working in an office in Covent Garden when it was still a fruit market. After work she would socialise in The 21's a coffee shop in Soho where Cliff Richard's and Tommy Steele would often be seen.

At 19 she got pregnant with Carole-Anne. Back then, in the 60s, being a single parent was particularly difficult but Barbara having much fortitude and such a resilient person coped admirably and made a wonderful life for them both ending up living on Marks Gate (which is why the funeral procession drove down Rose Lane where her first little flat was) She became close friends with Chris a woman she worked with in Wiggins Teape and her boyfriend Paul. As a youngster Carole-Anne grew up thinking she had two mums, Barbara and her shorter friend, Chris, who was affectionately known as little mum.

It was with Chris and Paul that Barbara had her first holiday abroad to Ibiza which was a much different place than it is today!

9 years after Carole-Anne, Katherine came into this world and Barbara felt her little family was complete.

Both girls recall that their mum would whole heartedly encourage them with their hobbies, gymnastics, dancing and swimming and filled them with confidence in their abilities.

Barbara loved a holiday. Jersey, st Margaret's bay, walton on the naze, wareham in Dorset, Clacton and of course her holidays abroad, with corfu and Spain amongst her favourite places

Along came her grandchildren, Robert, Caris, Curt, Hannah and Alex. She adored the five of them and they all have very wonderful memories of the time they spent with their nanny.

Barbara loved animals and her much loved pets Her dogs, Emma, Sasha, Sadie and Sid the cat. When she wasn't doting on her own she loved Katherine's dogs Blue and Harvey and of course the French bulldog belonging to Hannah, Prince who Barbara worshipped

Later in life Barbara joined the London Underground and was affiliated with London Bridge station where she became training coordinator. She loved this job and all the people who worked with particularly Said (pronounced Sy Eed) and Malik, who she kept in touch with after retiring.

Once retired she joined the local bowls group with her neighbours Ray and Renee. This gave her a new lease of life and more new friends, many of whom are here today and took part in the guard of honour earlier.

Always one to lend a helping hand Barbara became the fixtures secretary a task that caused no end of headaches but which gave her such a sense of fulfilment. A huge sigh of relief once they were eventually sorted though!

Never happier than when she saw her 6 great grandchildren, Kacey, Myla, Winnie, Sienna, Lockie and Maxey. She loved hearing tales of their mischief, their achievements and their chatter.

Moving from marks gate to Portland Close meant she started playing bingo on a Monday and Friday and would often show off that she had won the big jackpot! ! By big she meant the odd 1 or 2 pound here and there which tickled her.

Shortly after moving to Porland Close Barbara became ill and this put paid to her bowling days, her trips out with the bowls club, her bingo nights and family trips.

She was spent her time watching quiz shows, listening to music and enjoying the company of friends and family who would pop in. Albeit in much pain she made the most of her life with determination and a stoic attitude.

The family would like to offer their deepest gratitude to John Lizzimore. John, they thank you for the time you freely gave Barbara during her illness. Your care and consideration is a testament to the kind and genuine friend you are. A true gentleman

Barbara was fun, trustworthy, honest, loving and giving of both her time and money. Donating to charities close to her heart and looking out for anyone that needed a helping hand.

She will be sorely missed.

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