The remarkable Rosemary Hurford, of Kilmington

PUBLISHED: 12:24 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:52 15 June 2010

FRIENDS and family joined a 'remarkable' Kilmington woman to celebrate her 80th birthday.

FRIENDS and family joined a 'remarkable' Kilmington woman to celebrate her 80th birthday.Rosemary Hurford, of Eastleigh Close, had a lunch party at the village hall - in which Gerry Hurford paid tribute to his sister and her life.Ms Hurford thanked everybody at the event who helped her to raise £270 for the West Country charity ShelterBox.Diagnosed with infantile paralysis, later known as poliomyelitis, from nine months of age, Ms Hurford spent most of her life in a wheelchair or using crutches.Despite obstacles at the time, she found work at Shands in Axminster, the toolmaker and typesetter, and went on to live an independent life.At the age of 16 she trained at St Loyes, a residential college in Exeter, which specialised in training disabled people to learn a trade. She later became a member of the St Gile's Church choir and sang many soprano solos on account of her talent.Friend Brian Lavender wrote: "She takes a great interest in everything including world affairs and has an excellent memory and a sharp intellect."She is undoubtedly a remarkable woman, whose accomplishments and determination we should remember when we complain about our minor ailments."Well-travelled, Ms Hurford has enjoyed a good social life going to dances, drives, and, after taking up shooting, was soon a member of the Axminster B Team.Mr Lavender recounts how she walked to Axminster on her crutches one day with sister Margery - even though it took her one-and-a-half hours.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald