Barrow Voice would like to celebrate the life of Jan Hind who sadly died in July. She was a very early member of the editorial team of Barrow Voice and a real mover and shaker in the community life of Barrow.
Jan spent most of her childhood in Loughborough but met Mike, her future husband, at a Rock and Roll dance at the Essoldo Cinema in Loughborough. They moved to Barrow and lived in a caravan on a site where Gray’s Court is now. In 1965 they bought a house on the new Lakes estate in Barrow. That is still their home. Jan left full time work late in 1966 to have her first child, Samantha, followed in 1969 by Samantha’s brother, Jonathan.
As the children grew older, Jan went back to full time working. She joined Garrysons in Ibstock as secretary/PA to the Managing Director, Frank. This was to be pivotal in Jan’s working life. Frank went to the USA on a business trip and returned to tell Jan – “I have seen the future!” He acquired one of the first Apple Macintosh computers to be seen in the UK. This was about 1987. Jan was trained on the Mac and became Frank’s graphic designer producing catalogues of their products.
After a couple of years, Jan told Frank that she wanted to run her own business and Frank – bless him – gave her his full support and the computer and associated laser printer. Jan’s business, Coniston Creative Design, started in a spare bedroom at home. At the same time, Jan began to use her computing skills for the benefit of the Community Association. I remember being very much in awe of what she was able to do including designing what seemed at the time to be a very modern letterhead and logo. However, the creation of Barrow Voice in those days still involved a pair of scissors and a pot of glue.
I also remember Jan’s drive and enthusiasm aiding the success of Community Association events and especially Donkey Derbys. She could be seen on the day touting for custom for the tote wearing a striking outfit including a top hat emblazoned with TOTE on it.
Jan had started training as a Methodist lay preacher and this now took up much of her time but she could always be relied on to run the raffle or man a stall. Sadly in Jan 2011 she was diagnosed as having Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Even then she managed to edit the text of the BUSCA booklet about the archaeology of Barrow.
Midway through 2012 she deteriorated and continued to do so through 2013 and in early Jan 2014 was admitted to residential care as she gradually lost the power to walk, feed herself or take drinks. Nevertheless, she always had a big smile and although she also couldn’t speak properly she tried to talk. Jan mostly sat in the Quiet Lounge listening to Classic FM on her portable radio. Mike, her husband of 55 years said “I don’t think Jan knew who I was but was always pleased to see me so who knows?”
Jan died suddenly on 16th July 2016 at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. Barrow has lost a real community champion. We will miss her.
MRS LAHODYNSKA (MRS L)
Many of you may have heard that Mrs “L” died in July. A lady who was well known to many people in the village, especially those who attended Hall Orchard Primary School, where she worked for many years. Watch out for an article about her in the next issue of Barrow Voice.