MISCHIEVOUS, witty and twinkly-eyed – the villages of Kings Worthy and South Wonston are sorely missing a resident who lived amongst them for over 70 years.

Kathleen Bulpett died at her home in Westhill Road North, South Wonston this summer at the age of 101.

One of nine children, she was born in Christchurch in May 1913, moved to Winchester as a child, and then settled in a bungalow in Legion Lane, Kings Worthy, on marrying husband Horace in 1937.

The couple lived there for six decades as they raised two sons and Kathleen became a central part of the community.

She possessed a strong Christian faith, both singing in the church choir and arranging flowers there.

One of her floral creations was on display in Winchester Cathedral during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.

After her children grew up and left home, Kathleen went to work in Winchester’s Tax Office, in Southgate Street, her initial six week posting turning into an 18-year career.

Horace died in 1992 and Kathleen later moved to South Wonston to be nearer to her son Michael, with her family spending many weekends transplanting all her favourite bushes, trees and flowers to her new home.

She grew a little deaf in later life, which meant that her neighbours regularly clearly heard both the programme Songs of Praise and her singing along.

Kathleen eventually blew out the speakers of two televisions.

Her devotion to flower-arranging continued and she was seen determinedly scaling a five-bar gate at the age of 94, keen to ensure Hunton Church was decorated on time.

This was no surprise to her loved ones. 

The year before had seen Kathleen, then a mere 93, insisting on a second ride at a Land Rover off-road experience, which saw muddy water lapping round the vehicle’s windows.

“She was lovely, she really was. There was a real twinkle in her eye,” said son Michael.

“Mind you, she never told anybody her age until she was 98.”