Shopkeepers pay tribute to 95-year-old ‘Dame of Fareham’

Thelma Hayter from Fareham with her granddaughter Rebekah Eyres
Thelma Hayter from Fareham with her granddaughter Rebekah Eyres
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TRIBUTES have flooded in after a ‘dame of the Fareham community’ died last week.

Thelma Hayter, a great-great grandmother of 10, was well-known to the town’s community, passing through the charity shops along West Street ‘nearly every day’.

She was an absolute dame of the community

Debbie Darling

Her daughter Maureen Eyres, 76, who lives in Waterlooville, said: ‘I’m still learning about her life and I’ve found that so many people knew and loved her.

‘She was such a smart lady and well-known by the people of Fareham.’

Debbie Darling, manager of charity shop Debra in West Street, said: ‘What a lady Thelma was. She was an absolute dame of the community. Always looked immaculate.

‘She was so nice and polite. We were gutted when we heard the news.’

Helen Wheeler, manager of the RSPCA Stubbington Ark Shop in West Street said: ‘Thelma was a very lovely lady. She was a great supporter of charity shops in Fareham and was quite a character. She would came in our shop nearly every day.’

Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, the 95-year-old, who lived in High Street, Fareham, moved to Surrey in 1937 at the age of 16 after marrying Royal Navy Lieutenant William Arthur Hayter.

She lived for a time in Fareham before returning to South Africa and finally settled back in Fareham in the 1960s where she worked as manager of a sewing department in a furniture store until her retirement at the age of 65.

Thelma then became a member of the Royal British Legion and sold poppies until last yea, in addition to visiting the town’s charity shops on a daily basis and interacting with the community.

Thelma is survived by her three children, Maureen, Brian, 75, Bert 67; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren in England and in Tennessee in America. Her funeral is take place at Portchester Crematorium at a date to be announced in The News.